Handguns bound for HK, Vietnam seized

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Seized handguns that were concealed inside water heaters and that were bound for Hong Kong and Vietnam.

MANILA: Two handguns concealed inside electric water heaters that were about to be shipped to Hong Kong and Vietnam were intercepted on Tuesday by Bureau of Customs (BoC) personnel  at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The guns, Armscor Philippines .45 Caliber and 9mm, were seized at the Thomas Nationwide Transportation Warehouse in Pasay City that were,  according to Customs,  were bound for Vietnam and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Maj. Jaybee Cometa, head of X-ray Inspection Project, and Customs District III Collector Ed Macabeo said that a 21-year-old employee identified as Alfonso Martin V. Sanchez was arrested when he  inquired about the status of the shipment.

Macabeo said Sanchez, a resident of Caloocan City has inquired “about the status of two outbound parcels stored in a Pasay warehouse bound for Vietnam and Hong Kong.”

“When the boxes were opened, agents found a lower receiver 9mm pistol and a lower receiver of .45 pistol with empty magazine,” Macabeo said.

But when Customs authorities asked for legal papers prior to exportation of the two guns, Sanchez failed to produce the required documents from the Philippine National Police.

Charges were filed against the suspect before the Pasay City Prosecutors Office for violation of Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act of 2016, and RA 10591, or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

According to Customs Agent Babe Calixto, the suspect was coordinating with authorities to divulge who was behind the gun smuggling

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