Cocaine Authorities question the suspect who tried to ‘smuggle’ almost P20M worth of cocaine at NAIA Terminal 3. Photo courtesy of NAIA-Customs

American nat’l collared for P19.6M cocaine at NAIA T3

September 28, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 403 views


AGENTS of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADITG) on Tuesday evening arrested a 75-year-old American national for trying to smuggle some 3.7 kilograms of cocaine worth P19.6 million into the country, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chair, Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva said.

The official said that the elderly suspect was a retired casino manager from Tampa, Florida, USA.

Villanueva said that at around 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, the American national was held at the NAIA Terminal 3’s Customs Arrival Area after x-ray technicians spotted something “suspicious” inside his luggage.

When checked, the luggage was found to be containing cocaine worth P19,610,000, prompting the NAIA-IADITG, composed of officers from PDEA, the NAIA, and the Philippine National Police-Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) under Brig. Gen. Narciso D. Domingo to place the elderly US national under arrest.

“The luggage yielded the drugs contained in three improvised pouches covered with packaging tape and several pieces of carbon paper apparently to elude x-ray detection,” the PDEA chief said.

Villanueva said that the suspect arrived in the country on board Qatar Airways Flight QR 932 from Doha, Qatar.

The suspect is now being investigated at the PDEA national headquarters in Quezon City. He will be facing a non-bailable offense for drug smuggling under the Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which carries a penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of as much as P10 million upon conviction.

Authorities also said the operation was conducted following confidential information by an agent from reliable informants.

Also recovered were black luggage labeled “YINS” containing one assorted clothes, several pieces of carbon paper, three pieces of improvised pouches, and packaging tape with powdering substances. By Alfred Dalizon and Jun I. Legaspi