The United States Embassy in Manila on Friday commended the members of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task force (IADITG) for the apprehension of three foreign cocaine smugglers at the country’s main gateway on Wednesday afternoon.
Hong Kong nationals Pau Homanevan, 28 and Chan Kawai, 24; and Kirdyushin Yury, 31, a Russian national, were arrested by the Customs anti-illegal drugs unit and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency operatives upon their arrival at the NAIA terminal 3. Customs officials discovered cocaine in their checked-in luggage.
Kirdyushin was carrying 9.9 kilograms of cocaine, while Kawai and Homanevan were carrying a total of 18 kilograms of the prohibited substance, officials said.
The US Embassy statement noted that the NAIA-IADITG was established as part of a cooperative effort between the Philippine government and US Drug Enforcement Agency.
The task force, it said, received training, equipment and other support from the US government.
The Pasay City prosecutor’s office recommended no bail for the three suspected foreign drug mules who were slapped with a case for violation of Article 2 of Republic Act 9165, or the transportation and possession of illegal drugs. The penalty for the charge is life in prison.