INTELLIGENCE operatives of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) have placed a village at a city south of Metro Manila under “close surveillance” and “profiling” after being linked to the series of multimillion-peso illegal drugs smuggling attempts foiled by the authorities in recent weeks at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Retired colonel, Neil Estrella, former spokesman of the Philippines Marine now detailed with the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), said the identification of the village (barangay) is part of the “emerging pattern” they noted in relation to the operation in the country of international drugs syndicates, particularly, the notorious ‘West African Drug Syndicate.’
Estrella, also a veteran military intelligence officer prior to his retirement, disclosed to People’s Tonight that the name of the village cropped up in the course of their investigation of the repeated attempts to bring in illegal drugs from abroad, mainly thru the United Arab Emirates via Brazil.
“May nakita na kaming ‘pattern’ sa nangyayari ngayon.
’Yung mga ‘drug mule’ galing sa Brazil. They would then travel to the UAE, in Dubai, before boarding a plane to the Philippines.
“Kapag nakalusot, ‘dun sila pupunta sa nasabing barangay na ang impormasyon namin may mga residente na miyembro ng WADS,” he added.
Estrella, however, requested that the village’s name and the city where it belongs not be named for the moment as their “case build-up” is still ongoing.
Last Monday, Novopashina Anastasia, a Russian national, was apprehended at the NAIA with a still undetermined amount of cocaine among her possessions.
As in the previous four cases the BoC apprehended since Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon assumed the top post in July, Estrella noted that the suspect came from Brazil and arrived at the country via Dubai.
He said all the suspects’ “travel pattern” is “too obvious not to ignore.”
“Our instruction from Comm. Faeldon is, together with the other members of the inter-agency anti-illegal drugs task force at the NAIA, to coordinate with our counterparts not only in Brazil and Dubai but with other law enforcement agencies around the world to stop this illegal drug traffic,” Estrella added.
He added the series of apprehensions once again proved that the Philippines remains as a major transshipment point in the global illegal drug trade.