Drug courier swallows 92 cocaine pellets

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Venezuelan drug courier thought that he would be able to smuggle cocaine into the country by swallowing the drug encased in pellets.

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He was wrong.

Andres Rodriguez, 39, was arrested shortly after his plane touched down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Screeners only found condoms and laxatives inside Rodriguez’s bag. However, drug-sniffing dogs would not let go of Rodriguez, indicating that he must be carrying prohibited drugs. This prompted officials to interrogate him.

During interrogation, airport officials noticed that Rodriguez was in pain, prompting them to take him to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), where an x-ray test showed the drug pellets.

The pellets, weighing 1.1 kilograms, have a street value of P6.6 million.

Lt. Sherwin Andrada, executive officer of the Customs Anti-Illegal Task Force, said his group received information last month from their counterparts abroad that a man traveling from South America will be bringing cocaine into the Philippines.

Andrada said agents from the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Philippine National Police, and the Office for Transportation Security had been watching out for the drug courier since November.

It was learned that Rodriguez had a stopover in Brazil before he traveled to Abu Dhabi and later to the Philippines.

Andrada said this is the second interception of a courier who swallowed drugs to conceal them.

The first was Akilou Bassi, an African, who swallowed 60 capsules that contained more than 700 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu in June 2013.

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