Russian mule vows to help in antidrug war
Tearful and apologetic, one of the three suspected foreign drug mules arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) promised on Thursday to work with authorities to shut down the cocaine traffic from Brazil.
On Wednesday, airport anti-drug operatives intercepted P135-million worth of cocaine from a Russian and two Hong Kong nationals following a tip from the US Drug Enforcement Agency (US DEA).
Russian Yuriy Kirdyushkin, 31, owned up to bringing in 9.9 kilograms of cocaine.
He told reporters that he only wanted to earn extra cash so he could marry his girlfriend. “It’s just something that happened,” he said of his being a drug courier.
He said a friend had asked him to drop off the cocaine here and then head to Thailand before proceeding to Peru. His friend told him he would be paid through money transfer as soon as he completed the drop in the Philippines.
“I believed him because he was a close friend,” he said.
Speaking to his family in Russian, he apologized for putting them in “such a position” and said he did not immediately understand the consequences of his actions.
“I’m responsible for bringing it here but I’m not the producer,” he told them. “I don’t do drugs. My blood is clean. I’m ready to do all the tests. I’m ready to cooperate… because I know today you caught me, tomorrow they might send another one.” Kirdyushkin told reporters this was his first time to transport drugs.
Hong Kong nationals Chan Kawai, 24, and Pau Homanevan, 28, said they were unaware they were carrying drugs. A total of 18 kilograms of cocaine were found in their bags.
Chan claimed he had no idea what was inside his bag. “In Sao Paulo, some guy gave us (the baggage),” he told reporters.
He and Pau worked as waiters in Hong Kong and neither one admitted to being a drug mule. “They don’t give me money,” Chan said, referring to the man who gave them the bags. He said that it was his third visit to the Philippines and was in Cebu the last time.
The Inter-Agency on Drug Interdiction Task Group (IADITG) received information Wednesday noon from the US DEA regarding the three suspected drug couriers.
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