5 Pinoys detained in Israel over drug-related charges
The Philippine Embassy in Israel has bared a new modus operandi being employed by drug traffickers to send in their illegal shipments there, this time using wooden desk name plates where the contraband is stashed.
The embassy also warned Filipinos there to refrain from giving their name and address to anyone wishing to receive a package from postal couriers, as they may be used as the receiving address for shipments containing illegal drugs.
Five Filipinos are currently detained in Israeli prisons after they were arrested over drug-related offenses in the past few months, some of whom for receiving packages containing illegal drugs.
The embassy said it received a report from a "source" that drug traffickers shipped to Israel a wooden desk name plate bearing the name and designation of a Philippine embassy official.
"The item concealed what appear to be sachets of illegal substances that were confiscated by Israeli authorities," the embassy said.
Besides misrepresenting the embassy, the drug traffickers also etched the words “EL SHADDAI” on the back of the name plate, which was sent to a Filipino worker in Israel who is connected neither to the El Shaddai nor to the Philippine embassy.
Meanwhile, the embassy said Consul Bryan Jess Baguio has visited the five Filipinos who are being investigated for drug trafficking or illegal drug possession.
It said the five have either hired a private lawyer or have been provided with a court-appointed defense lawyer to handle their cases.
Ambassador Neal Imperial called on Filipinos in Israel to shun illegal drugs and to instead focus their time and energy on their jobs and help their families back home. He also said that the vast majority of Filipino workers in Israel are well-behaved and law-abiding except for a few individuals lured into the drug trade.
“We should cooperate with the Israeli police in combating the scourge of illegal drugs and support the anti-drugs campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Imperial added. —KBK, GMA News