PHILIPPINE airport security personnel on Tuesday arrested a 68-year old balikbayan from Houston, Texas after he allegedly tried to smuggle dried marijuana leaves to the country.
The police, in a belated statement Friday, said Agusto Reyes Madrigal was prevented from boarding his connecting flight to Cagayan De Oro City at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport by members of the Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group (Avsegroup). They added that he had just arrived at the airport’s Terminal 3 from the United States when they received a tip from Madrigal’s’ fellow passenger that he is bringing in dried marijuana leaves into the country.
The police said that upon immediate inspection of Madrigal’s personal belongings, suspected dried marijuana leaves were found prompting them to arrest him on the spot for violating the country’s anti-illegal drugs law. Moreover, the police added, Madrigal tried to conceal the still undetermined volume of suspected marijuana leaves by tightly packing them inside two deodorant cases.
Madrigal told lawmen that he always brings cannabis leaves every time he returns for vacation to Manila from Texas, the police further alleged.
Meanwhile, newly appointed Avsegroup director Chief Supt. Sheldon G. Jacaban said Madrigal’s interception was in line with the marching order of PNP Director General Ronald Dela Rosa concerning the intensification of the anti-illegal drugs campaign at the airport.
Madrigal, who was brought to the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office for inquest proceedings, is now under the custody of Intelligence and Investigation of Aviation Security Unit-National Capital Region while waiting for the issuance of commitment order, aviation police said.