Hours after a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed to intensify efforts in safeguarding the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) here in Metro Manila, three kilograms of shabu was intercepted in the Mactan International Airport in Cebu, Lapu-lapu City.
This was after a Kenyan national was arrested by joint elements of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and Bureau of Customs (BOC).
PDEA Director General Undersecretary Jose S. Gutierrez Jr. identified the arrested Kenyan national as Asha Atieno Ogotu, 25 years old, a suspected member of the African Drug Syndicates (ADS). Ogotu is an arriving passenger of Qatar Airways flight QR656 from Doha, Qatar.
“During the conduct of routine drug sniffing operation in Mactan International Airport, our [PDEA K9] dogs, “Rocky”, “Lokey” and “Smart”, showed positive indication of presence of dangerous drugs in Ogotu’s luggage,” Gutierrez said.
The custom examiner on duty conducted a thorough search on Ogotu’s luggage witnessed by authorized representatives from PDEA, NBI, and BOC. The search yielded two aluminum packages weighing one and a half kilograms each. Field test on the contents of the packages yielded positive to the presence of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.
The arrested Kenyan national is temporarily detained at the NBI office in Taft Ave., Manila and charges for importation of dangerous drugs (Section 4, Article II, Republic Act 9165 or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) will be filed against the suspect.
“This incident just emphasized the need to replicate our effort at the NAIA. We shall fast-track the creation of an inter-agency drug interdiction task group in Mactan International Airport and other international airports. Then we will also do the same in different ports nationwide so we can seal off major entry and other entry points into the country and close the doors of the Philippines to illegal drugs,” the PDEA chief said. Evangeline DJ Almenario, Chief, Public Information Office, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency