A MOTHER and her daughter were arrested at the Manila airport on September 27, 2023 for transporting into the country around 14,360 grams or P76.1 million worth of cocaine.
The suspects, Siti Aishah Binte Awang and Nur Alaviyah Binte Hanaffe, are Singaporeans. They were intercepted after arriving on board a Qatar airlines flight from Doha.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Anti-Terrorist Group (ATG) Airport Head Bienvenido Castillo III said in a report to BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco that the two drug smugglers attempted to transit to Hong Kong via the Philippines when immigration authorities intercepted them.
The arrest happened after suspicious travel patterns were detected from the two suspects.
“We received information about a suspect from international counterparts, and we observed that she would come in and out of the country in several instances and have noted suspicious travels,” Castillo was quoted in a statement from BI.
“We discovered another individual with the exact same patterns, hence we immediately coordinated the matter with the members of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Drug Interdiction Task Group,” he added.
Members from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) also helped in the operation, along with airline representatives, said BI.
Canine inspection revealed that the suspects’ luggage contained suspicious materials. When checked by BOC personnel, they found six cookie tin cans and five cylindrical chip cans that contained 564 pellets with white powdered substance.
The substance, later identified as cocaine, totaled more or less 14,360 grams with a current street value of P76,108,000.
Tansingco commended the BI-ATG for the “alert and proactive actions that led to the interdiction.”
“The alertness of our immigration personnel in analyzing travel patterns of these criminals was instrumental in this arrest…Close coordination among government agencies in our airports is necessary to protect our borders from all kinds of criminal activity,” he said.
Both suspects were placed in the custody of the PDEA and appropriate charges will be filed against them, said the BI. (LMY)