ANGELES CITY – Agents of the National Bureau Investigation (NBI) filed criminal charges against three nationals of Papua New Guinea and a Filipina.

The three foreign nationals and the Filipina were charged with violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, the Migrant Workers and Filipino Overseas Act and Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

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Sun.Star Pampanga could not reveal the identities of the suspects and the victims because RA 9208 states that “it shall be unlawful for any editor, publisher, and reporter or columnist in case of printed materials, announcer or producer in case of television and radio, producer and director of a film in case of the movie industry, or any person utilizing tri-media facilities or information technology to cause publicity of any case of trafficking in persons.”

The Filipino woman is from Concepcion, Tarlac. They were all arrested and detained for the same offenses.

An inquest document filed by NBI Deputy Director Ruel Lasala last Feb. 15 cited the complaints and sworn statements of the syndicate’s alleged victims who said they were asked to smuggle illegal drugs in China by swallowing “capsulized powder” and carrying luggage especially designed to conceal illegal drugs.

A complainant earlier told NBI that the Filipina companion of the Guineans had offered him US$3,000 as a “delivery boy.” But upon learning about the arrest of Filipinos in China due to drug trafficking, he became suspicious and decided to seek the help of the NBI.

Last Feb. 12, operatives of the NBI’s Reaction Arrest and Interdiction Division conducted a sting operation to arrest the suspects with the cooperation of the complainant, who along with two other victims, a Filipino male and a female, were rescued from the syndicate a few hours before their flight to China via the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark Freeport Zone.

Meanwhile, local police complained against the NBI operation saying it failed to coordinate with the local authorities.

When a member of the Angeles City Traffic Management Transportation Management Unit saw three armed men blocked the path of two black foreign nationals and forced them into a vehicle before dawn on Feb. 13 in Barangay Balibago, he reported the incident as abduction.

After two days, however, the local police were surprised to learn that the supposed “abductors” were NBI agents, who conducted a sting operation against a suspected human and drug trafficking syndicate composed of Guinean nationals and Filipinos.

In a report submitted by Chief Inspector Rogelio Javier, commander of Police Station 4, to City Police Officer-in-Charge Danilo Bautista, said lack of coordination between the local police and the NBI had led to the confusion.

He said the NBI had coordinated with the Pampanga Provincial Police Office for their operation, not with the city police.