DOJ inspects magnetic lifters in multi-billion shabu haul

MANILA -- The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday inspected the magnetic lifters used to smuggle billions of pesos worth of illegal drugs into the country last year.

Assistant State Prosecutor Mary Jane Sytat and members of her panel conducted the inspections at the warehouse in General Mariano Alvarez (GMA), Cavite, where the four magnetic lifters are being kept.

Sytat said the panel will proceed to the Manila International Container Port (MICP) on Friday, where the two other magnetic lifters are being kept.

The DOJ is conducting a preliminary investigation of the complaints filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), in connection with the smuggling of billions of pesos worth of shabu concealed inside the magnetic lifters, which are meant to be attached to heavy equipment.

Named as respondents in the complaint are former Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena, Vener Baquiran, Zsae Carrie de Guzman, John Mar Morales, and Benjamin Cajucom for allegedly having committed dereliction of duty in violation of the Revised Penal Code; violation of Section 3(e) of the Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act); and grave misconduct in violation of the Code of Conduct for Public Officials and Employees.

Also included in the NBI criminal complaint are 40 other persons, including the three alleged core conspirators -- former Customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban, former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Deputy Director for Administration Ismael Fajardo, and dismissed Police Col. Eduardo Acierto.

Source: Philippines News Agency