COLOM­BIAN SWAL­LOWS ₱ 8-M CO­CAINE

Tempo - - Front Page - By JUN RAMIREZ

The Bureau of Im­mi­gra­tion (BI) an­nounced yes­ter­day the ar­rest of a Colom­bian drug mule who at­tempted to smug­gle into the coun­try more than ₱8-mil­lion worth of co­caine that he swal­lowed be­fore board­ing his flight to Manila.

The Bureau of Im­mi­gra­tion (BI) an­nounced yes­ter­day the ar­rest of a Colom­bian drug mule who at­tempted to smug­gle into the coun­try more than ₱8-mil­lion worth of co­caine that he swal­lowed be­fore board­ing his flight to Manila.

BI Com­mis­sioner Jaime Morente said the ar­rest of Alberto Qui­jano Pe­draza, 67, could not have been pos­si­ble with­out the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the other mem­bers of the drug in­ter­dic­tion task group (DITG) at the Ni­noy Aquino In­ter­na­tional Air­port (NAIA) who took part in the op­er­a­tion.

He dis­closed that the task group which was formed last year is com­posed of the PDEA, BI, Bureau of Cus­toms, Na­tional Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion, PNP Avi­a­tion Se­cu­rity Group, NAIA Air­port Po­lice, and the DOTR’s Of­fice of Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity.

Morente noted that it is the spirit of mu­tual co­op­er­a­tion be­tween agen­cies that get things done in this ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Morente, it was the US Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity (DHS) which in­formed the BI about Pe­draza’s im­pend­ing ar­rival via Emi­rates Air­lines flight EK332 from Dubai Sun­day af­ter­noon.

He said that af­ter con­firm­ing that Pe­draza was aboard the flight, BI in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer Bien­venido Castillo im­me­di­ately re­layed the in­for­ma­tion to the NAIA-DITG which then planned and ex­e­cuted the op­er­a­tion for the sus­pect’s in­ter­dic­tion.

“When he ar­rived at past 4 p.m. and pre­sented him­self at the im­mi­gra­tion counter BI op­er­a­tives im­me­di­ately in­formed other mem­bers of the task group that the sub­ject has been pos­i­tively iden­ti­fied and tagged,” Morente said.

Pe­draza seemed ill at ease, ap­pre­hen­sive and acted sus­pi­ciously. When he tried to en­ter the men’s room at the cus­toms’ area, NAIADITG mem­bers ac­costed him to pre­vent him from pos­si­bly dump­ing the drugs he in­gested.

The Colom­bian was later brought to the Pasay Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal where X-ray re­sults re­vealed that he had in­gested 79 pel­lets, each con­tain­ing 15 grams of co­caine, in his in­testines which he later on ex­creted.

The 1.185 kilo­grams of co­caine is now with the PDEA to be used as ev­i­dence against Pe­draza.

(Jun Ryan Arañas)

COLOM­BIAN pas­sen­ger Alberto Qui­jano Pe­draza, 67, is held by Philippine au­thor­i­ties for at­tempt­ing to smug­gle into the coun­try more ₱8-mil­lion worth of co­caine stuffed in 79 rub­ber pel­lets which he swal­lowed be­fore board­ing his flight to Manila at the Dubai air­port.

(Jun Ryan Arañas)

FIRE en­gulfs the Caloocan Po­lice Sta­tion on Sam­song Road in San­gang­daan, Caloocan City. The blaze reached the fourth alarm be­fore it was put un­der con­trol 6:04 a.m. yes­ter­day.

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