Thursday, February 3, 2011

PDEA bares “padala” as 
drug trafficking modus 

WATCH OUT for that package. 

Narcotics and travel authorities now issue a warning for Filipinos who may be unwittingly becoming drug mules by innocently bringing packages containing drugs and illegal substances through international airports and border crossings. 

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General and undersecretary General Jose Gutierrez bared this during a recent launching of the government’s Anti-Drug Courier Program in Ilo-ilo City February 3, 2011. 

The modus operandi is simple, explains Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Regional Director Gladys Rosales during a briefing at Sarabia Manor and Convention Center February 3, 2011. 

Because we are friendly and can easily be talked into helping others, many people use this nature to conveniently slip a package through borders by asking people to get bring “packages” which contain illegal substances. 

According to Rosales, there are about 79 persons currently facing death penalty in China as a result of having been found to carry drugs and illegal substances. 

Of the 79 facing death penalty cases, 6 are facing death without reprieve, the remaining 73 have two years reprieve, she added. 

It would be unfair for innocent Filipinos to get the death penalty or life sentence in other countries if found to trafficked drugs; willingly or unwittingly, implied Philippine Information Agency Director General Atty. Jose Fabia. 

Gutierrez also admitted that apart from unwitting couriers, there are recruitments ongoing, which offer very tempting packages including plane fares, accommodation, 1000 to $2000 per successful delivery. 

Drugs, including heroin, shabu or meth-ampithamine hydrochloride, cocaine and marijuana have been trafficked, PDEA said based on their records. 

The methods of concealment can come in many forms: hidden in a luggage, inserted in books and parcels, shoe boxes or any other item that can be carried across, Rosales bared. 

On the problem, the government has created the Task Force Drug Couriers by virtue of administrative order 279, which puts PDEA as chair and is composed of 13 member agencies. 

The task force has also identified prevention, law enforcement and prosecution as well as coordination and enhancement, Rosales revealed. 

At the anti-Drug Courier launching, Favia said “this is a very important program, and we have committed because we understand the gravity and magnitude of the problem. (racPIABohol)

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