DICT urged to monitor couriers as illegal drug trade allegedly persists during pandemic


Posted at Aug 23 2020 03:16 PM

MANILA - A lawmaker on Sunday urged the Department of Information and Communications Technology to tighten its supervision of couriers in the country following the discovery of alleged illegal drugs in one of its warehouses.

Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas said the DICT has the "exclusive power and authority to regulate the postal delivery services industry, or those engaged in domestic postal commerce."

There are some 110 courier service providers in the country, Gullas said citing DICT data.

“We strongly suspect that traffickers might be moving illegal drugs increasingly through established courier firms, rather than via individual smugglers or mules, on account of foreign and domestic travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gullas said in a statement.

Some 12 kilos or P81.6 million worth of suspected shabu were seized from the warehouse of J&T Express in Central Visayas, authorities earlier said.

The origin of the package remains unclear but drug enforcers are in pursuit of the shipper and consignee, Gullas said.

“If the shipment came from abroad, then the contraband slipped through the Bureau of Customs again,” he said.