Increase in drug smuggling in CNMI - Customs

6:41 am on 19 February 2020

Northern Marianas Customs is reporting an increase in drug smuggling, prompting them to heighten security efforts in the islands' ports of entry.

Transparent plastic bags with white powder isolated on black background

Photo: 123RF File photo

Last month, CNMI law enforcement intercepted over two pounds of crystal methamphetamine or "ice" hidden in silicon tubes inside a shipping container from China.

Customs said the illegal drugs were discovered during a routine inspection and had an estimated street value of $US500 per gram, giving it a total value of about $US481,000.

Aside from drug smuggling, Customs also faces a myriad of other problems like the undervaluation of goods, undeclared high tax-rate commodities, and contrabands like fake products and banned hazardous chemicals.