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PDEA tightens watch on foreigners involved in drug activities

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) yesterday said it was continuing to tighten its monitoring of foreigners  involved in illegal drug activities.
“Foreign nationals were found to be greatly involved in the spread of illegal drugs in the country. In 2016, a total of 112 foreigners were arrested for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña said.
“Foreign nationals arrested for drug-related offenses nationwide more than doubled to 79 six months into the government’s war against drugs. During the first semester of 2016, 33 foreigners were already nabbed,” Lapeña added.
Of the apprehended foreigners, Chinese still dominated the list with 44, followed by Taiwanese at 29 and 7 Hong Kong nationals and 7 Koreans. The rest are Asians, Americans, Europeans and Africans.
From 2010 to 2016, a total of 473 foreigners were arrested for violation of the anti-drug law: 112 in 2016, 38 in 2015, 67 in 2014, 77 in 2013, 65 in 2012, 45 in 2011 and 69 in 2010.
“Out of the foreigners arrested in the last seven years, 227 or 48 percent were Chinese. They were either pushers, possessors, couriers, manufacturers and financiers,” Lapeña said.
To address the influx of Chinese involved in the country’s drug trade, PDEA and the Narcotics Control Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China have signed a “Protocol on Cooperation” on October 20, 2016 in Beijing, China to effectively suppress and control drug crimes between the two nations. The Protocol will be effective for five years.
“PDEA has stepped up its campaign to pursue foreigners responsible for the proliferation of dangerous drugs in the country. This led to their eventual arrest through high-impact operations, including the dismantling of clandestine laboratories used in the manufacture of shabu, chemical warehouses, prevention of drug trafficking at airports and seaports and high-volume seizures through buy-bust operations,” the PDEA chief said.              

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