Immigration bureau probes Chinese man allegedly behind P1.8-billion shabu haul

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 30 2019 04:38 PM | Updated as of May 30 2019 06:16 PM

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MANILA -- The Bureau of Immigration on Thursday said it was coordinating with the office of Sen. Panfilo Lacson to net a Chinese man who was allegedly behind the entry of P1.8 billion worth of shabu into the country. 

Lacson, in a privilege speech on Wednesday, said a certain Zhijian Xu alias "Jacky Co" was "the main person responsible" for the 276-kilo drug haul wrapped in tea packaging that was seized at the Manila port last March. 

There were travel records for several people named Zhijuan Xu leaving the country on separate instances, but none for April 3, the date that he supposedly departed Manila for Singapore according to Lacson, said Immigration Spokesperson Dana Sandoval. 

The name Jacky Co, meanwhile, yielded no hits in the Interpol database, she said. 

"Maaaring iba po ang pangalan nito or maaaring iba pong araw na bumiyahe sya," Sandoval said on radio DZMM. 

(He may have used a different name or traveled on a different date.) 

"We will be coordinating with his (Lacson's) office po for more information para ma-pinpoint po natin sino itong taong ito and kung siya po ay involved talaga sa illegal activities," she added. 

(We will be coordinating with his office for more information so we can pinpoint who this person is and whether or not he was really involved in illegal activities.) 

Lacson, meanwhile, surmised that the lack of records on Co may be due to his connections to officials. 

"Posibleng ganoon ka-connected itong si Xu o Jacky Co. Baka malamang nakakuha rin ito ng passport na hindi natin alam," he said in a separate DZMM interview. 

(It's possible that Xu or Jacky Co may be that connected. He may have gotten a passport without our knowledge.) 

Citing sources, Lacson said Co faced previous kidnapping and drug trafficking cases in China, the status of which he was still verifying. 

The senator also said he would give Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero the names of "1 or 2" officers involved in smuggling. 
 
In the same speech Wednesday, Lacson said corruption persists at the Immigration bureau.