Manila: Authorities here apprehended an in-bound Filipina passenger, for attempted smuggling of illegal drugs valued at approximately Php18.3 million (about $323,000), at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) disclosed the arrest on Friday (August 25).
According to a statement released by PDEG's head, Col. Dionisio Bartolome Jr. identified the suspect as Zenaida Esperanza Losloso, 49, who had arrived from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, via flight ET 644 on Thursday evening.
The collaborative efforts of PDEG, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and the NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADITG) led to Losloso's apprehension at NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City around 9:45 pm, according to a report by the Philippine News Agency.
During the operation, law enforcement officials discovered roughly 3,454 grams of suspected cocaine, concealed within an improvised plastic pouch. The estimated street value of the seized drugs is Php18,306,200.
The detained suspect, along with the confiscated evidence, underwent formal documentation and handling procedures at the PDEA Office.
Authorities are actively investigating the arrested passenger for potential violations of Republic Act 9165 (RA), also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, as well as RA 10863, which pertains to the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
"Importation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. — The penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to Ten million pesos (P10,000,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall import or bring into the Philippines any dangerous drug, regardless of the quantity and purity involved, including any and all species of opium poppy or any part thereof or substances derived therefrom even for floral, decorative and culinary purposes."
"SEC. 5. Sale, Trading, Administration, Dispensation, Delivery, Distribution and Transportation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. — The penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to Ten million pesos (P10,000,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall sell, trade, administer, dispense, deliver, give away to another, distribute, dispatch in transit or transport any dangerous drug, including any and all species of opium poppy regardless of the quantity and purity involved, or shall act as a broker in any of such transactions."