BOC-Port of Cebu strengthens security against illegal drugs

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Cebu Customs Bureau and PDEA-7 officials discuss collaborative strategies to prevent illegal drugs from entering the country.

The Port of Cebu Customs Office (BOC) recently met with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-7) Region 7 officials to discuss collaborative measures to prevent the smuggling of illegal drugs into the country.

District Collector Charlito Martin Mendoza, PDEA 7 Regional Director Levi Ortiz and Port Intelligence, Law Enforcement and X-Ray personnel attended the coordination meeting in response to the Cebu Governor’s statement , Gwendolyn Garcia, of a “total and total war” against illegal drugs. .

The Port of Cebu and PDEA 7 have a long-standing partnership, with the latter assisting in the daily screening of shipments through its well-trained officers and K-9 sniffer dogs at ports and airports.

The two agencies have conducted joint controlled delivery operations in the past, most recently in July 2022 when a claimant from Cebu City was arrested for illegally importing ecstasy worth $5 million.

“The Bureau of Customs joins Governor Garcia’s campaign for a drug-free province. This is a welcome statement given the commissioner’s zero tolerance policy on drug trafficking,” Collector Mendoza said.

“We assure the Governor that the Port, with all of its border security measures already in place, will continue to guard 24/7 potential entry points into the region for illegal drugs and their precursors.” , he continued.

Eleven state-of-the-art X-ray scanners are deployed at the Cebu Seaport and Airport, including a modern portal X-ray machine that offers high-resolution images capable of scanning 150 containers per hour.

In addition, two (2) trace detection system machines are installed to detect the presence of explosives, narcotics and medicinal substances. These machines complement the port’s regular profiling activities carried out by its intelligence officers and the newly operational port control office created in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

In anticipation of smuggling at sea, the Port last May launched three high-speed river patrol boats to intensify its maritime patrol and interception capabilities.

Meanwhile, the Mendoza District Collector has ordered port workers to remain vigilant against illegal drug trafficking through strict verification of import documents and the conduct of non-intrusive physical examinations.

In accordance with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s directive to suppress the entry and proliferation of illicit drugs, and under the direction of Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz, BOC-Port of Cebu is committed to strictly securing the borders of the countries and to ensure that prohibited goods, particularly illegal drugs, do not escape the jurisdiction of the Bureau. /rcg

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