The premature announcement of the arrest of a suspected Malaysian drug courier may have shielded other 'bigger fish,’ a Philippine drug enforcement official said.
The suspect’s cohorts are likely to lie low, Dionisio Santiago, chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), said in a radio report.
Bihira ang opportunity na ganyan. Natatakbuhan kami ng tao and it becomes more difficult. Chain dapat yan, ngayon back to square one, di nakuha ang connection. We are hoping hindi intentional yan, Santiago said in an interview on dzRH radio.
It was a rare opportunity to score against an international drug ring. But now it becomes more difficult because the other members of the syndicate will lie low after the incident. It was supposed to be a chain [of arrests], but now we are back to square one. We just hope the early announcement was not intentional.
On Wednesday, Customs and airport authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA-2) arrested a Malaysian national after yielding some 10 kilos of high grade methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) valued at P50 million.
The shabu was found in the false suitcase bottom of Hou Eng Pheow, who arrived from Bangkok on Philippine Airlines flight PR-733.
Investigation showed Hou stirred airport officials’ suspicions after he nervously glanced at the arrival area as if looking for someone to help him get past inspections.
But Santiago said the [premature] announcement of the arrest may have alerted Hou's group to suspend its operations for a while.
Kaya request namin sana pag may nahuli, i-coordinate sa amin and in due time we'll tell media what happened ... Kung pwede mas malaki ang haul natin, he said.
So our request to other agencies is to coordinate with us first when they catch a suspected drug courier. In due time we'll tell media what happened, while making bigger gains against drugs in the process.