MANILA, Philippines – A man was caught with at least 7 kilograms of high-grade shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 on Tuesday evening.
The illegal drugs, carried by Roendo Ariata who arrived from Hong Kong on board Philippine Airlines flight PR 307, were stashed inside milk cartons.
The drugs were not spotted by the X-ray machine since they were concealed by carbon. However, airport inspector Kristian Cordis conducted an inspection after noticing that Ariata was acting suspiciously.
"Napansin ko nahihirapan siya sa bagahe. Tinanong ko siya kung saan siya galing, di siya makasagot... Pina-open ko, pagka-bukas nakita ko nga ito - naka conceal siya sa milk... Nagbukas na ko ng isa tapos ito yung nakita ko. Sa gitna yung milk tapos nandun na yung drugs," Cordis said.
The seized items have an estimated value of P35 million.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said it is unusual for Filipinos to be used as drug mules in transporting drugs to the Philippines.
"Karamihan [sa mga drug mules] ay West Africans or mga Asians. Nakakagulat pero mag-iimbestiga kami kung ano na ang partisipasyon ng mga Pilipino sa pagtutulak ng droga," said Ronnie Cudia of the PDEA Legal Department. – report from Jerome Lantin, ABS-CBN News