The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has stepped up its tight monitoring on erring foreign nationals as hundreds of them were nabbed for bringing in illegal drugs or acting as drug mules in the country last year.
“Foreign nationals were found to be greatly involved in the spread of illegal drugs in the country. In 2016, a total of 112 foreign nationals were arrested for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” said PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña.
PDEA records show that 33 foreigners were arrested for drug-related offenses during the first semester of 2016.
Of the apprehended foreigners, Chinese nationals still dominated the list with 44, followed by Taiwanese at 29, and seven Hong Kong nationals and seven Koreans.
The rest were nationals from other countries in Asian, America, Europe and Africa.
From 2010 to 2016, a total of 473 foreigners were arrested for violation of the anti-drugs 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 nationals. They were either pushers, possessors, couriers, manufacturers and financiers,” Lapeña noted.
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 (PRC) 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. (Chito A. Chavez)