Hong Kong sentences 3 Pinays for illegal drug trafficking
HONG KONG – The High Court of Hong Kong sentenced last week 3 Filipino women arrested for drug trafficking.
The Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Hong Kong said the Filipino females were sentenced to jail terms of 14, 12 and 8 years respectively.
In a press statement, the Consulate said the first to be sentenced to 14 years was a Filipina arrested by customs authorities at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) last February 20, 2009. The woman who arrived from Malaysia was found carrying 1.2 kilograms of drug mixture that contained 750 grams of heroin.
Another Filipina who also arrived from Malaysia was apprehended on June 10, 2009. She was arrested at HKIA after authorities found in her luggage 380 grams of heroin. The illegal drugs were hidden inside the buttons of 16 pieces of clothing.
The Filipina was reportedly offered US$1,000 by a compatriot based in Malaysia to bring the items to Hong Kong. The court handed down her 12-year sentence following her guilty plea.
Also sentenced by the Hong Kong High Court after pleading guilty is a Filipina arrested at HKIA on June 1, 2009 for illegal drug trafficking. The Filipina, who was sentenced to serve 8 years in jail, was found with about 260 grams of cocaine kept inside her body cavities. Upon her arrest, the Filipina was immediately brought to a hospital where small plastic packets containing the drugs were extracted.
The Consulate, meanwhile, reiterated earlier warnings issued by the Philippine's Department of Foreign Affairs to Filipinos travelling abroad not to be duped into serving as drug mules or couriers.
The Consulate said Hong Kong considers illegal drug trafficking as a very serious offense. Under its law, illegal drug traffickers face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine of up to HK$5,000,000 (approximately US$650,000).
The Consulate has recommended the enhancement of cooperative efforts between Philippine security officials and their counterparts in other jurisdictions so that action can be taken to prevent Filipinos from becoming part of the illegal drug trade.