MANILA — Businessman Dong Yi Shen, alias Kenneth Dong, attended Friday’s preliminary investigation at the Department of Justice on the complaint filed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in connection with the shipment of PHP6.4-billion worth of illegal drugs seized last May.
Aside from Dong, the other respondents named in the complaint are Eirene Mae Tatad, owner of EMT Trading; Teejay Marcellana, customs broker of EMT Trading; Mark Ruben Taguba, EMT Trading representative; Chen Ju Long, chairman and general manager of Philippine Hongfei Logistics Group of Companies Inc.; warehouseman Fidel Anoche Dee; Taiwanese nationals Chen Min and Jhu Ming Jyun; and businessman Li Guang Feng.
The case of violation of sections of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to sections of the Customs Modernization of Tariff Act (CMTA) was filed by the BOC Bureau Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS), represented by Nicy Encinas, Anna Benjieline Puzon and Charmagne Velasco.
Dong is currently detained at the Parañaque City Jail due to his pending rape case before the Parañaque City Regional Trial Court (RTC).
Tatad and Li were also present at Friday’s hearing for the preliminary investigation.
Assistant State Prosecutor Charles Guhit gave all nine respondents until Nov. 20 to file their respective counter-affidavits to respond to the complaint filed against them.
In the 19-page complaint filed by the BOC-BATAS dated Sept. 15, it was stated that Hongfei Logistics is engaged in international sea and airfreight forwarding and that the company’s registration with the BOC’s Client Profile Registration System expired last July 12, 2014.
Sometime last February, Hongfei hired the services of Li (Li Guang Feng) who sought the help of Dong (Dong Yi Shen) in finding a broker.
Dong found Taguba, who is not a Professional Regulations Committee (PRC)-registered broker.
“Despite the expiration of its registration, however, Hongfei continued to operate as an international freight forwarder by engaging consultants who handle the release of goods from the Bureau of Customs,” said the BOC, indicating that Hongfei hired the services of Li since February.
The BOC discovered the 604 kg. of shabu last May 26 at the Hongfei warehouse in Valenzuela City based on a tip from the Anti-Smuggling Bureau of the China Customs.
After the discovery, the BOC and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted a controlled delivery of some of the shipment containing the shabu to its final intended destination, based on the markings on the crates, to Dee at a house at 3050 F. Bautista St., Ugong, Valuenzuela.
Emily Sevilla Anoche, Dee’s sister and owner of the house, told investigators that the house was rented by the two Taiwanese, who requested that she recommend a relative to work as their warehouseman.
The BOC said the shabu shipment arrived in the Philippines last May 16 from Quanzho, China and was declared as containing cutting boards, footwear, kitchenware, and molds.
“The declaration was both certified and signed as true and correct by EMT Trading and its broker, Teejay A. Marcellana,” the BOC said in its complaint.