Philippine police bust drug syndicate transporting heroin
Manila - Philippine police have busted a drug syndicate that allegedly abducted people and forced them to swallow capsules packed with heroin to transport the narcotics to Asian neighbours, an official said Wednesday.
Police Deputy Director General Jefferson Soriano said two suspects were arrested on Monday while forcing a victim to take the capsules, each containing 11 grams of heroin, in a taxi outside Manila airport.
The victim, Jayson Ordinario, 22, later told police officer that 'he was forced to swallow 34 tubes of heroin and that at the time of his rescue, he was about to board a plane to Macau to transport the substances,' Soriano said.
Police officers also seized six capsules of a 'yellowish powdered substance,' which laboratory tests found to be high-grade heroin, from the two suspects identified as Jhun Enummeng and Elpidio Gonzales.
Soriano said Enummeng and Gonzales were 'drug couriers for a well-knit drug syndicate operating internationally' that uses Manila as a trans-shipment point for distributing narcotics to China, Macau and Malaysia.
He said the value of the seized heroin was estimated at more than 3 million pesos (64,000 dollars).
The police unearthed the modus operandi when Ordinario's parents sought assistance to locate their missing son who was allegedly abducted by the two suspects.
Ordinario, a former overseas worker in Macau, said he was about to attend mass in downtown Manila when he was seized by the suspects on November 1.
'They threatened me that if I didn't do what they were telling me, something bad would happen to me,' he said.
Soriano said follow-up operations were being conducted to track down other members of the syndicate in Manila.
The illegal drugs trade in the Philippines rakes in about 700 billion pesos every year, according to government estimates. More than 6 million Filipinos were believed to be habitual or occasional drug users.
Nov 4, 2009, 5:12 GMT