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PNP wants deeper probe on Customs allegation about smuggling of ‘dirty money’

The Philippine National Police is seeking a deeper investigation on the report of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) about the entry of “dirty money” in the country allegedly through the help of some policemen and even military personnel.

In a statement, PNP spokesman Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac said the police organization may conduct an internal probe on the matter if only the BOC can provide more information on the matter.

“This is a serious matter that deserves to be thoroughly investigated because allegedly, policemen are involved,” Banac said.

According to Banac, smuggling activities usually transpire at the airside area of the airports where inbound and outbound passengers and cargo are processed by various agencies to comply with security, immigration, customs and other administrative requirements for foreign travel.

“The airside area of the airport is not among the areas of operation of the PNP,” Banac noted.

“It should be understood that the PNP unit assigned at the airport, the PNP Aviation Security Group, provides only general law enforcement and public safety functions at the landside area of the airport which is open to the public,” he added.

Banac further said PNP personnel may only enter the highly-controlled airside areas of the airport when requested by airport authorities.

Meanwhile, the PNP’s Civil Security Group warned that cops engaged in this activity could be dismissed from service.

Police Major General Robert Fajardo, chief of the PNP - CSG, urged the public to report to authorities if they know cops who are engaged in this illegal activity.

“That is grave abuse of authority so dismissable ’yan... if may mga pulis na ganito, I think it’s time to put a stop dito and kkung hindi man i-report niyo lang sa amin ’yan,” Fajardo told reporters.

“Unang-una bawal, lahat po ng pulis may kanya kanya duty for criminal operations and patrolling pero ‘yung VIP that is for... lalo na kung ‘yung escortan ’yun nga sabi mo nga ‘dirty money,’ the more na bawal talaga ’yun,” Fajardo added.

Fajardo explained that policemen could not provide security or escort without prior threat assessment and approval from the PNP chief.

“Hindi pwede mag-VIP security ang sinumang pulis without the authority kasi may authority muna ’yun. Una ‘yung threat assessment, pangalawa it will be evaluated... it is to be validated by intelligence group and it should be endorsed to Chief PNP for approval,” Fajardo said.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez has ordered an investigation regarding the issue after Bureau of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero submitted a report to him stating the activities of the suspected syndicates.

Guerrero bared that the “Rodriguez” and the “Chinese” groups brought in $200.24 and $167.97 million, respectively, into the country last year through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport with the aid of the police and the military.

Armed Forces spokesman Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo already said no active military personnel was involved in the smuggling of money. —NB, GMA News

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