Philippine customs on lookout for drugs in toys

July 07, 2014 - 9:26:24 am

MANILA: Bureau of Customs (BOC) examiners at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals have started checking stuffed toys brought by passengers after 200 methamphetamine tablets were found in a teddy bear bound for South Africa last Wednesday, an official said yesterday.

NAIA customs district collector Edgar Macabeo said examiners must first inform the passengers about the search in a polite manner so as not to embarrass them.

He said the tablets were found hidden in the teddy bear’s hands, legs and head when the toy passed through the x-ray machine manned by BOC personnel at a courier firm’s warehouse.

The toy was sent by a certain Jason Thomas from Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro to a “Miss H Thompson” in South Africa, officials said, adding that they believe the sender’s name is fictitious. Macabeo said this is the first time they found illegal drugs hidden in a stuffed toy. He said that earlier this year, sachets of shabu were found in women’s clogs sent through a courier service.

Merkel in China

BEIJING: German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in China yesterday for her seventh visit since 2005, with economic ties topping the agenda and a high-powered business delegation in tow.

Merkel touched down early yesterday in the southwestern city of Chengdu, where she met local officials, visited a market and toured a factory operated by German car manufacturer Volkswagen. She then travelled to Beijing, where she wrapped up the first day of the three-day visit with a meeting with Premier Li Keqiang and a banquet at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

Merkel’s visit comes just over three months after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Germany, when both parties signed a raft of economic pacts.