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2 Chinese with smuggled devices held at airport

By: Raymund F. Antonio

Agents of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) apprehended two Chinese passengers for bringing in smuggled scheming devices and access gadgets at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The arriving Chinese nationals, identified as Gong Yongjie, 26, and Wang Ji, 22, were stopped at the NAIA Terminal 1 after the x-ray machine detected the illegal items at their baggage.

Major Jaybee Raul Cometa, head of X-ray Inspection Project (XIP), said that a BoC-NAIA examiner conducted a manual check of the baggage and found “187 pieces of brand new One Time Password Cards and 153 pieces of used ATM, debit cards and new sim cards.”

OTP cards are used as a cloning device to access data in the automated teller machines cards and the generated passwords will be sent to the sim cards which will initiate the transfer of funds.

Yongjie, Ji, and their baggage were intercepted by the customs agents on September 25 after they arrived on a China Southern Flight CZ 3091 at the airport.

The BoC brought in the Chinese nationals for inquest after they were caught carrying the several skimming devices and access gadgets. They are now detained at the BoC’s Enforcement and Security Service district office at NAIA.

Customs chief Isidro Lapeña said they failed to provide any permit from the owner of the ATM and debit cards.

“The apprehending examiner recommended the issuance of warrant of seizure and detention against the goods to the district collector of NAIA,” he said.

The commissioner said they were charged before the Pasay City Fiscal’s Office for violations of Sections 1113 (f), 1401, and 118 (g) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and Republic Act 8484 or the Access Device Act.

He bared that some foreign and domestic airline passengers were taking advantage of the non-intrusive examination of hand-carried baggage and luggage at the airports.

To address smuggling incidents and drug trafficking, “we are upgrading our facilities by adding more x-rays here in NAIA and we will also be procuring additional x-rays for the other ports,” said Lapeña.

Meanwhile, according to Cometa, two units and one unit of brand new Rapiscan x-ray machines are now installed at NAIA Terminal 1 and 3, respectively.

The BoC will also install 16 more x-ray machines at the three NAIA terminals.