US Embassy info ‘instrumental’ in cocaine carrier arrest at Naia
The US Embassy in Manila on Wednesday said information from its drug enforcement administration office was “instrumental” in the arrest of a 22-year-old Filipino who attempted to smuggle more than four kilos of cocaine into the country.
In a statement, the embassy lauded the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and member agencies of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for the arrest of Jon-Jon Villamin Jr., who was nabbed upon his arrival in Manila from Dubai.
“We are especially pleased that information from the U.S. Embassy’s Drug Enforcement Administration Office was instrumental in making this arrest, a testament to our longstanding bilateral counternarcotics and law enforcement coordination,” the statement read.
Intelligence officer II Bienvenido Castillo said he was tipped by the PDEA on the arrival of a possible drug mule. Villamin denied knowing that he had cocaine in his luggage, saying he was just instructed by a Brazilian friend to bring the luggage to Manila.
In a press conference at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Laos last month, US President Barack Obama said the American government was willing to partner with the Philippines in going after drug traffickers as long as it was in consonance with human rights and international law. JE
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