4 arrested Pinays in HK claim they were used by drug syndicate
The four Filipinas who were arrested in Hong Kong for allegedly smuggling a huge of amount of prohibited drugs have claimed that they were victims of a drug syndicate, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.
"It appears they were used by drug syndicate to be drug mules," said DFA spokesperson Charles Jose via text message to GMA News Online.
He said the four bared this information to officials from the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong who interviewed them to offer assistance following their arrest in late September.
Jose did not provide details on the identities of the four, saying only that they were "all female" who came from the Philippines, and that "they were together as a group."
"As a matter of police we don't disclose names and other personal details," he said.
Hong Kong does not impose death penalty on drug traffickers unlike in other places, like China and the Middle East, where drug trafficking is a capital offense and punishable by death.
Several Filipinos, particularly in China, have been executed in the past for drug trafficking.
Unfazed by the executions, many Filipinos continue to engage in the crime. In exchange for huge payments, Filipino women and even men are reportedly being hired by West African drug syndicates to transport drugs mainly in Asia and South America - sometimes by ingesting it.
The DFA said a total of 88 Filipinos are facing death penalty abroad and more than half of this figure are drug-related cases, mainly in Asia.
In Indonesia, Mary Jane Veloso was sentenced to death for smuggling heroin 2.6 kilograms of heroin in 2010. Her execution, however, was put on hold on the last minute in April this year following appeals from the Philippine government. —KBK, GMA News