By Betheena Unite
Detection of shipments containing illegal drugs and other contraband entering the Philippines is expected to be further improved with the addition of two donated equipment from the World Customs Organization.
One unit of x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer and one unit Raman spectrometer were recently handed over by the World Customs Organization- Asia Pacific Security Project to the Bureau of Customs.
These logistical equipment will be deployed to the major ports in the country, increasing the capability to detect drugs and other contraband materials in shipments.
Raman Spectrometer is used to identify unknown compounds or chemicals. According to the bureau, it “efficiently identifies threats and measures a broader range of substances.”
The XRF Analyzer, meanwhile, is used for metal identification. It provides rapid and accurate element analysis and alloy identification to users who require laboratory-quality results in the field.
“These detection devices are highly significant to customs and border control operations, particularly against the smuggling of metal products and chemicals that could pose a threat to security and safety,” Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said Wednesday.
“The donated devices will definitely be a big boost to the bureau’s strengthened campaign against smuggling, especially on illegal drugs and other contraband goods,” Guerrero stressed.
Smugglers have been very creative in smuggling their illegal drug shipment into the country by concealing them inside metal scraps, magnetic lifters, toys, and even religious images.
Recently, a more blatant way of smuggling illegal drugs was intercepted by the bureau, where illegal drugs were packed in tea bags.