Another Pinoy 'drug mule' arrested in HK

Posted at 09/16/11 7:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Another Filipino has been arrested at the Hong Kong International Airport for alleged drug trafficking, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.

The man, whose identity has been withheld, was arrested after 26 kilograms of heroin were found in his luggage while he was enroute to mainland China, the DFA said, quoting a report from the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong.

The Filipino, who had worked as an airport cab driver in the Philippines, was allegedly offered by a drug syndicate to go abroad to deliver goods.

"This supports the new trend that drug syndicates prefer to recruit employed and more presentable mules who can very well conduct themselves before airport authorities," the DFA said in a press statement.

The Consulate General is providing assistance to the suspect to ensure that his rights are respected, the department added.

The DFA reiterated its appeal to Filipinos to avoid accepting offers from individuals or groups to carry illegal drugs when going abroad in exchange for money, as harsh penalties await them in their destinations.

"The Philippine government has a strong anti-illegal drug policy, and is closely cooperating with law enforcement agencies in other countries on efforts against anti-drugs trafficking," the department said. "It is undertaking comprehensive and proactive measures to address the drug mules issue and to prevent the further victimization of Filipinos by international drug syndicates."

The DFA added that is is working closely with other agencies on drug trafficking cases.

There are 71 Filipinos in China who were meted death penalties with 2-year reprieves, which is equivalent to life imprisonment.

In China, drug trafficking of 50 grams or more of illegal drugs is punishable by 15 years in prison, life imprisonment, or death.

Drug trafficking is also punishable by death in most Muslim countries.