PNP to look deeply in alleged link of cops in alleged smuggling of $447 million
The Philippine National Police ( PNP) on Wednesday said they will conduct a deeper investigation on the alleged involvement of policemen in the entry of some $447 million or P22.68 billion, which may be linked to money laundering, in the country.
In a statement, PNP spokesperson Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac this is a serious matter that deserves to be thoroughly investigated after their police personnel were tagged in the allegations.
“An internal investigation can be initiated by the PNP if only Bureau of Customs can provide more substantial information or leads to validate the information,” he said.
Banac said the sites where smuggling allegedly occurred was not among their areas of operation.
“Smuggling happens at the airside area of the airports where inbound and outbound passengers and cargo are processed by different agencies to comply with security, immigration, customs and other administrative requirements for foreign travel,” he said.
Banac said the police ''takes strong exception the information shared by the Bureau of Customs that policemen facilitated the smuggling of foreign currency through the airport.”
“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. PNP personnel can only enter the highly-controlled airside areas of the airport when called upon by airport authorities,” he added.
Last Monday, BOC revealed the alleged involvement of corrupt police officers and soldiers in the illegal activities of two syndicates identified as the “Rodriguez" and the “Chinese” groups.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano vowed to hold accountable police officers who reportedly assisted criminal syndicates smuggle the money from September last year to February this year. Ella Dionisio/DMS