Government agents have arrested on Saturday a South African traveler for alleged attempt to smuggle into the country banned shabu worth more than P144 million through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Mark Wienand, 60, has just arrived from Doha on board Qatar Airways flight QR-928 when he was intercepted by combined elements of the Bureau of Customs (BoC), the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and the Interagency Drug Interdiction Task Group (IADITG) at the NAIA
The suspect’s bags were subjected to x-ray scanning which yielded images of suspected dangerous drugs, prompting the Customs examiners to place it under full physical examination.
The authorities discovered four packs containing 21.215 kilos of shabu worth P144.2 million, concealed at the bag lining.
The airport officials turned over Wienand and the seized prohibited substance to the PDEA for custody and proper disposition.
The suspect will be charged with violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Drugs Act, and RA 10863 also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
Customs officials said they conducted the operation following a tip off from their foreign counterpart.
The latest seizure brings to 22 the total number of drug apprehensions made by Port of Manila with the help from PDEA and IADITG this year.
Airport and Customs authorities were also able to arrest at least 15 foreigners for trying to smuggle cocaine and other prohibited drugs at the NAIA from 2018 to 2019.
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration tipped off Philippine authorities on the impending arrival of foreigners, mostly drug mules, in Manila.