PH Customs officer intercepted 1.3 kilos dried marijuana leaves sent by mail from US

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MARIJUANA may be legal in California but not yet in the Philippines.

This is what Tyrone Lopez probably learned Friday after he was arrested by Philippine Customs agents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for claiming a mailed package containing 1.3 kilos of dried marijuana leaves.

Customs District III Collector Ed Macabeo said the package was addressed to Lopez and mailed by a certain Minerva Thomas from Colton, California. The package was declared to be personal effects and contains two backpacks, a tackle box, a cooler, fishing strings and shoes.

He, however, added that upon closer inspection, it was learned that all of the items in the package also contained dried marijuana leaves, a vial of marijuana oil and three grams of marijuana seeds.

Macabeo said Lopez initially sent a representative to the NAIA’s Central Mail Exchange to claim the package which arrived last Wednesday. He added that his men refused to release the package and instead demanded that Lopez himself claim it.

Lopez, a resident of Meadowood St., Executive Village, Barang, Bacoor, Cavite; later came and tried to claim the package which was then inspected by Customs agents, Macabeo said adding that after the discovery of the dried marijuana leaves, Lopez was placed under arrest.

Macabeo added that his men immediately sent for a representative from the task force on anti-illegal drugs to examine the dried leaves which eventually turned to be positive of dried marijuana.

As of the posting of this news, Lopez is still in the custody of the Bureau of Customs authorities awaiting the filing of charges of violation of Republic Act 9165 (the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act).

Benjie Vergara
A veteran reporter covering the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. He is currently writing for Manila Times, the Philippines' oldest newspaper.

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