A 22-year-old suspected Filipino drug mule was arrested upon is arrival Sunday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for carrying nearly five kilograms of cocaine.
Agents of the Bureaus of Immigration and Customs and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency pounced on Jon-Jon Villamin Jr. shortly after he retrieved his luggage from the carousel.
Arnel Alcaraz, OIC-Customs Deputy Commissioner, disclosed that a team from the Customs Anti-Illegal Task Force was dispatched following intelligence information that a Filipino passenger had illegal drugs in his luggage.
“The suspect was already on our radar even prior to his arrival after we received intelligence information that a Filipino passenger from Dubai has drugs in his luggage,” Alcaraz told The Manila Times.
Villamin will be charged for violation of Republic Ac 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drgus Act of 2002.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said BI agents from the bureau’s border monitoring security unit (BMSU) waited for Villamin to show up at the immigration arrival area hours before Emirates flight EK 332 arrived at around 4:30 p.m.
Villamin denied knowing that his luggage contained cocaine, saying it was given to him by a Brazilian friend who promised to call and instruct him where to bring the luggage upon his arrival in Manila.
He told authorities that he met the Brazilian two years ago in Manila. He invited Villamin to go with him to Brazil and offered to shoulder all expenses including hotel accommodation and pocket money.
While in Brazil, he was asked by his friend to bring back two suitcases to Manila. PDEA Regional Director Wilkings Villanueva and NAIA District Collector Ed Macabeo received A-1 information from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that a Filipino passenger from Brazil is bringing “high value drugs.”
The cocaine, which has a street value of more than P20 million, was concealed in a false bottom.
Authorities reiterated their appeal to all Filipino travelers not to accept suitcases from persons they do not know.