Authorities said Andres Rodriguez, 39, was caught for bringing in some 1.1 kilos of cocaine that was found in his stomach.
Rodriguez had ingested the cocaine contained in 92 pellets of 13 grams each, valued at P6.6 million.
Sherwin Andrada of the Customs Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force (CAIDTF) and Customs police chief Lt. Reggie Tuason said they received information about an incoming Venezuelan passenger suspected of being a drug courier.
Andrada said they alerted Customs and Immigration officials on the arrival of Rodriguez.
The Venezuelan arrived at the NAIA Terminal 2 from Abu Dhabi on Philippine Airlines flight 657 Sunday night.
Rodriguez had one hand-carried luggage but was invited for questioning and investigation.
“We didn’t find any illegal drugs in Rodriguez’s bag but we found several paraphernalia, as the drug-sniffing dogs reacted by sitting near the bag,” Andrada said.
He said officials of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) decided to bring Rodriguez to the Philippine General Hospital for further examination and X-ray.
Rodriguez then admitted swallowing several condom-wrapped cocaine pellets before boarding his flight to Manila from Brazil through Abu Dhabi.
Andrada said they saw several pellet images following an X-ray on the stomach of Rodriguez, who was given two tablets of a laxative to flush out the pellets.
A drug mule can swallow up to 120 pellets and take medication to inhibit bowel movement, said Edgar Macabeo, NAIA Customs district collector.
According to Macabeo, the Venezuelan reportedly admitted the “airports in the Philippines are the fastest way to smuggle drugs.”
Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina said President Aquino congratulated airport officials for apprehending Rodriguez.
Source: December 16 Philstar