MANILA – A 35-year-old Filipino is in jail for attempting to smuggle illegal drugs to Peru, the foreign affairs department reported on Friday.
The DFA said it received a report from the Philippine Embassy in Santiago, Chile regarding the apprehension of a male Filipino on September 30, 2009.
"The Filipino national is presently incarcerated at Quencoro Men's Penitentiary at Cusco where he will begin a prison sentence of six years and eight months, including payment of fines, after accepting a plea bargain agreement with the Peruvian authorities," the DFA said in a press statement.
Peruvian authorities nabbed the Filipino national at the Alejandro Velasco Astete Airport while trying to smuggle 6.145 kilos of cocaine alkaloid, which were found inside his hand carry baggage.
"The Filipino was headed for Lima, Peru and to other intermediary points, with Hanoi, Vietnam as the alleged final destination," the DFA said in a statement.
Earlier, two Filipinas were arrested in separate incidents last May and June in Ecuador and Africa for drug trafficking cases.
"These are seemingly more daring and brazen attempts by drug syndicates in the region to use Filipinos to transport banned substances across international borders," said Philippine Ambassador to Chile, Maria Consuelo Puyat-Reyes.
She also stated that the incidents involving Filipino drug mules in Peru and Ecuador are becoming "especially alarming."
Likewise, she warned Filipinos traveling to South America "to be wary of drug syndicates enticing travelers to transport illegal drugs, no matter how lucrative the 'handling' fee may appear."