Seafarer caught with stash of cocaine

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Vice Consul Alex Vallespin

A Filipino seafarer was caught with smuggling 2.7 kilos of cocaine into Hong Kong on June 1.

Vice Consul Alex Vallespin told Hong Kong News the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department apprehended the Filipino, who was described to be in his late 40s, after the Filipino delivered the drugs to two Colombian nationals.

“The seafarer’s vessel docked in Hong Kong and Customs authorities tailed him until he delivered the drugs to the recipients,” Vallespin said.

The Filipino and two Colombian nationals were then arrested.

Vallespin said Hong Kong authorities then called him to talk to the seafarer.

Vallespin said the Filipino was supposed to fly to Manila on the evening of June 2, but he was arrested by Hong Kong authorities.

The PCG official said the Filipino told him he met two persons in Colombia, and while they were out drinking, he was offered to take the drugs to the Philippines in exchange for money.

Hong Kong authorities found $100,000 from the Filipino’s bag.

“He initially said he was surprised to see $10,000 from his bag. I told him to tell the truth,” Vallespin said.

On June 6, a Filipino call center agent was sentenced by a High Court judge to 18 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of drug trafficking.

Prosecutors alleged the Filipino woman, A.R.S. Cruz, came to Hong Kong on July 30,2016, and was intercepted by Customs agents at the Chek Lap Kok Airport. When her handbag was searched, the agents found hidden pockets containing three packets of suspicious substance.

Upon checking, the substance was found to be 610 grams of solid substance, containing 508 grams of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $694, 549.

When asked by investigators, Cruz said she did not know about the handbag’s hidden pockets.

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