MANILA -- Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will conduct an independent investigation on Jacky Co, the alleged mastermind of how PHP1.8-billion worth of shabu hidden inside imported tea bags found its way into the country.
"The NBI will gather facts first and then identify whom to charge later. This investigation is distinct from the PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) investigation," Guevarra confirmed Friday.
The justice chief said prosecutors may also seek a travel ban against Co and his co-accused named in the charges filed by the PDEA as soon as the investigation proceeds.
"The moment a formal preliminary investigation begins, we may consider applying for a precautionary hold departure order with the proper court," Guevarra said.
He noted that according to the consul general of China, a certain Xu Zhi Jian, also known as Jacky Co, has a pending case in China.
However, he is not on the Interpol watch list and this has been certified by the Interpol's National Central Bureau in Manila.
Guevarra clarified that while there is no record that one Xu Zhi Jian departed from Manila on April 3, immigration records showed that a certain Xu Zhi Jian left on March 20.
"As there was no existing hold departure order against the said person, nor any Interpol alert during that time, the BI (Bureau of Immigration) allowed the said person to depart," Guevarra said.
The PDEA on Friday filed charges against Xu Zhi Jian and 16 others allegedly involved in importing illegal drugs valued at PHP1.8 billion.
Those charged were officers and directors of Wealth Lotus Empire Corp. and Fortuneyield Cargo Services. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency