Authorities seized Wednesday 27 kilos of cocaine and shabu worth P135 million from two travelers from Hong Kong and another one from Russia at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The Bureau of Customs (BoC) identified the three passengers as Chan Kawai and Pau Homanevan, both from Hong Kong;
Russian Kirdyushkin Yuri. They arrived at the NAIA around 4:30 p.m. from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil via Dubai on board Emirates Air flight EK332.
According to BoC, Customs and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) arrested the three passengers for concealing the illegal drugs inside their check-in luggage.
Around 7.4 kilos of suspected powdered cocaine and 2.5 kilos of liquid cocaine were discovered inside the luggage of the Russian while the luggage of the two Chinese each yielded nine kilos of shabu.
Despite boarding the same flight, the two Chinese and the Russian denied that they knew each other. However, all of them claimed that they did not know they were carrying illegal drugs as a friend only asked them to bring them to Manila.
Arnel Alcaraz, deputy commissioner of the BoC-Enforcement Group (EG), said the bureau’s personnel were immediately alerted after receiving information from the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) about the passengers.
Alcaraz added that the three identified passengers took their luggage from the conveyor and were asked to proceed to the customs office for inspection.
The K9 also detected the drugs inside the luggage.
PDEA took custody of the three passengers and the contraband for proper disposition.
According to Alcaraz, the contraband seized from the foreigners were most likely not for the Philippine market based on the amount.
“Ang impormasyon na lumalabas sa imbestigasyon namin kagabi, although initial, it’s [headed] either [to] Thailand or Hong Kong. Shipment point lang tayo,” he said. (ARGYLL CYRUS B. GEDUCOS)