With US help, Russian woman arrested for smuggling cocaine

Raoul Esperas

Posted at Nov 28 2016 08:58 PM

MANILA - A 32-year-old Russian woman was arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 for possession of high-grade cocaine.

The suspect was identified as Anastasia Novopashina. 

She arrived in Manila on board an Emirates Airlines flight from Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Novopashina was initially allowed to go past immigration officials and towards the customs zone to claim her baggage.

Without her knowledge, local officials, in coordination with the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, had been monitoring her movements until she reached the Philippines.

High-grade cocaine was found concealed in Novopashina's jacket. 

Her checked-in luggage and her sleeping bag were still being subjected to routine customs inspection, as of posting. 

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal lauded the NAIA Drug Interdiction Task Group for their efforts in curbing the smuggling of illegal drugs into the country.

Monreal also reiterated his appeal to all passengers to refrain from accepting free trips from strangers who may use them as drug couriers.