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Nearly 240 Filipino drug couriers caught this year.

Manila: Authorities in Manila revealed that some 240 Filipinos have been arrested abroad this year for smuggling illegal substances.

Nestor Mantaring, head of the National Bureau of Investigation, said the drug couriers have been arrested in different countries.

He revealed this development as he issued a strong warning to Filipino travellers, tourists and migrant workers not to allow themselves to be coaxed into engaging in smuggling illegal substances. "Filipinos who allow themselves to be misled into smuggling or trafficking illegal drugs cannot count on the government to help them. No assistance will be given to them," Mantaring said.

Lawyer Ruel Lasala, deputy director for Intelligence Services and Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force, particularly cautioned Filipinos on the operations of the so-called West African Drug Syndicate.

This particular crime ring, Lasala said, had shifted its operations in Asia and are preying on jobless Filipinos as well as tourists, migrant workers and even professionals.

"This syndicate will approach Filipinos and promise them high paying jobs.

"They will tempt their victims with offers of free travel and huge amount of cash in exchange for smuggling drugs," he said.

Lasala said the Filipino nationals are now languishing in foreign jails and are facing charges.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Nov 10, 2008
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