The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized 8.42 kilos of strand pearls worth P500,000 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 on March 28 after X-ray machines detected the hidden pearls.
BOC agents led by the Enforcement Group (EG) under the X- Ray Inspection Project (XIP) said the pearls were brought in by passenger Ansari B. Hassan on board Cebu Pacific Airlines Flight 5J119 from Hongkong.
Customs agents immediately subjected the baggage to physical examination after being marked ‘X’. Upon inspection, the customs examiner and XIP inspector found 48" strand pearls concealed in a white plastic bag.
Maj. Jaybee Raul Cometa, X-Ray Inspection Project director, said the suspect did not have enough cash to pay for import duties which lead to the seizure of the pearls.
The pearls have been placed under custody of the BOC for further examination and evaluation.
On the same month, two 9 mm caliber revolvers intended for shipment to China were also seized at the NAIA.
In another incident, 15 tablets of ecstasy pills were found by the EG at the DHL Warehouse in Pasay.
“We will not stop our fight against the illegal entry of contrabands into the country and collect what is due to our country," EG Deputy Commissioner Ariel F. Nepomuceno said.
"The public can expect stricter implementation of X-Ray examination since intrusive inspection of hand carried bags are not allowed unless marked by the machine,” he added.