Alleged African drug syndicate member, Filipina recruiter nabbed in buy bust
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) arrested a female member of the African Drug Syndicate (ADS) and a Filipina recruiter holding P24 million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) on Wednesday, undersecretary Jose Gutierrez Jr. said Thursday.
The suspects, identified as Elizabeth Runana Nyamdura, a Kenyan national and Maria Grace Navarro Lacson, alias Gina Lacson, a Filipina recruiter, from Concepcion, Tarlac, who fell into the trap by PDEA in which one of its men posed as a drug courier who was recruited by Lacson, Gutierrez said.
They were arrested in a hostel in Adriatico street Malate Manila as they were turning over 4.5 kilos of shabu contained in four vacuum-sealed plastic wrapped in aluminum foil, Gutierrez said.
They are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. The suspects are now detained at the PDEA Metro Manila Regional Office Detention Facility.
Lacson has been responsible for allegedly recruiting Filipino drug couriers since 2007, Gutierrez said.
Among her recruits was Melani Pangan Manalac who was instructed to transport 88 grams of heroin concealed in 100 capsules to China. Manalac was arrested in Guangzhou, China last May 14, 2011 and sentenced to five years. Negotiations are ongoing between the Philippines and China for the deportation of Manalac next year.
DJ Yap, Inquirer
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