The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Calabarzon (PDEA 4A) seized PHP25-million worth of illegal drugs during a raid of an African illegal drug syndicate’s lair in an exclusive subdivision here Thursday morning. PDEA personnel, armed with search warrant, seized 10 kilos of “cocaine” and more than two kilos of “shabu” from suspected leader of an African drug syndicate, identified as Rufus Katumba, a Ugandan national and director of sales of First Capital Card and World Buy-Philippine branch.
According to PDEA Regional Director Yogi Filemon Ruiz, the modus operandi of this syndicate is to send recruited females to Hong Kong, carrying a luggage containing one to three kilos of cocaine hidden in their luggage. The drug courier is given PHP8,000 allowance.
Ruiz said these female couriers were recruited through the Internet, Facebook and other social social media sites by offering them free travel to Hong Kong. “They will get your confidence during the first trip without any drugs in the baggage, but on the second trip that’s the time your baggage is inserted with drugs, all expenses paid with pocket money,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz also revealed that the syndicate imported the illegal drugs for delivery to Hong Kong using female couriers. “They are sending everyday two to three Filipina carrying one to three kilos of cocaine, so they have a wide network,” Ruiz said.
The raid was an aftermath of the arrest of four Filipinas in Hong Kong last month for each carrying one kilo of cocaine inside their luggage. PDEA conducted thorough investigation to track down and arrest other African drug syndicate members and their sources.
The operatives reminded our countrymen not to be very trusting when a foreigner approaches and offers them free travel with cash incentives.