Operatives of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Intelligence Group intercepted a parcel mailed from the United States containing 268 blue-colored pills suspected to be sildenafil citrate, a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and sold under various trade names like “Viagra.” The drugs, packed in four-tablet blister packs, have an estimated street value of over P40,000.
The parcel, which was declared as “assorted pharmaceutical products,” was mailed last January 6, 2014 to a certain Angelica Amor Vasquez with address at 171 Gomez Street, Barangay Addition Hills, San Juan City, The package arrived at the San Juan Central Post Office on January 18, 2014 where it remained unclaimed for the last eight months, prompting authorities to open the package. The parcel were seized by Customs officials for violation of Section 2530 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP)., as amended, in relation to Food and Drug Administration law, rules, and regulations and the Intellectual Property Code or Republic Act 8293.
“All products that come into the country—whether by ship, balikbayan box or even postal parcels, are subject to Customs inspection and maybe charged with corresponding duties and taxes or are outright prohibit or require special permits. Unscrupulous individuals sometimes try to use postal mail and express parcels to ship illegal or prohibited items to and from the Philippines because they think that there is minimal chance of being caught. Let this be a warning to the public that we are closely monitoring all mail, parcels, and packages,” said Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla.
The sildenafil citrate pills have been turned-over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
The Bureau has confiscated over P500-Million of illegal drugs and other controlled chemicals. These include methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, marijuana, Ecstacy, Valium, Ativan, Dormicum, Rivotril, Alprazolam, Ritalin, and other unlabeled tablets.