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NMI ‘imports’ crystal meth from Guam, says Customs official

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CUSTOMS Director Jose Mafnas on Tuesday said crystal meth from Guam is being transported to Saipan through Rota.

“It’s an easy boat ride from Guam to Rota,” he said, adding that the price of crystal meth on Guam is also cheaper.

On Guam, he added, crystal meth is sold from $50 to $75 per gram compared to $500 per gram on Saipan.

“There’s a drug problem in Guam and the price there is so affordable, and so drug dealers from Saipan are getting their supplies from Guam,” he said in his remarks at the Rotary Club of Saipan meeting on Tuesday.

Mafnas said CNMI Customs is trying to prevent the entry of illegal drugs, especially crystal meth, but “I cannot say that we have stopped all of them from coming in.”

The largest amount of crystal meth that Customs intercepted from a passenger from Rota headed to Saipan was about 200 grams, he added.

Mafnas said they have also intercepted a small amount of “ecstasy” and crystal meth at the post office and at the airport.

“We have so many friends out there who report to us whenever there is an unusual activity happening or if they hear that some stuff is coming in,” Mafnas said as he thanked community members for providing vital information to Customs.

Customs also partners with other law enforcement agencies both local and federal, including the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and Homeland Security, Mafnas said.

He added that Customs likewise receives information about boats and other vessels that go to the Northern Islands, especially Pagan.

Whenever the U.S. Coast Guard goes to the Northern Islands, “they usually ask CNMI Customs to join them,” Mafnas said.

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