Two suspected consignees and three alleged companions were arrested by agents of the Bureau of Customs and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Region 3 for smuggling P17 million worth of the party drug “ecstasy” in Pampanga on Aug. 8.

Two shipments from the Netherlands were put on hold after Customs officials got a tip.

“[T]hey received information from BOC – Port of Clark and PDEA Clark Interdiction Unit about shipments from the Netherlands, containing pieces of ecstasy consigned to Joshua Bautista of Guagua, Pampanga, and to Charmaine Valencia Bacani of Lubao Pampanga,” PDEA-Region 3 said in a statement.

A total of 4.51 kilograms of ecstasy were recovered from the shipment, Customs said in a report.

The first shipment contained five (5) packs of Ecstasy tablets with an estimated weight of 2.3 kilograms concealed at the bottom and in between the four (4) walls of the box, while the second shipment with an estimated weight of 2.21 kilograms was found wrapped in a black colored package inside a Shiatsu Foot Massager,” Customs said.

In a press release, PDEA-Region 3 said 5,000 ecstasy tablets with an estimated amount of P8.5 million and another set of 5,000 tablets were seized in separate operations in Lubao, Pampanga.

The illegal drugs were transferred to PDEA for disposition, Customs said.

PDEA-Region 3 identified the other suspects as Raphy Serrano, 30 of Guagua, William Manansala, 41 of Lubao and Patrick Pangan, 35, also from Lubao.

Warrants of seizure and detention were issued against the shipments for violation of Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) in relation RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the bureau said. Ma. Veracel A. Martinez