Drug gangs turning to foreign students as drug mules – PDEA

Published by rudy Date posted on May 10, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign exchange students are now being groomed as “drug mules,” indicating a shifting trend in the recruitment process of narcotics couriers, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said yesterday.

PDEA director general Jose Gutierrez Jr. believes this was the case of Korean Yunji Choi, who was arrested last week with Nigerian Samuel Egbo after selling half a kilo of cocaine with a street value of P2.5 million to an undercover PDEA agent. The two are believed to be members of an African drug syndicate that recruited Elizabeth Batain, who was executed in China for drug trafficking.

He said Choi, a 22-year-old student, told PDEA she met Egbo at a Manila university last year, and ended up having a relationship with him.

Choi has been in and out of the country, based on the entry and exit stamps in her passport.

Gutierrez said big-time drug syndicates are luring more Asians, notably exchange students from Korea, as prospective drug couriers. He said these syndicates prey on young people because they are inexperienced and naive.

“PDEA will continue to pursue an aggressive campaign against the recruitment of drug couriers and prevent these unwitting individuals from being victimized by members of organized international drug syndicates,” he said. –Reinir Padua (The Philippine Star)

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