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BI, PDEA join hands in the fight against drug trafficking

BI and PDEA MOA against drug trafficking
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco ( left) and PDEA Director General Moro Virgilio Lazo sign an agreement of collaboration against drug trafficking.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) aimed at enhancing cooperation in the fight against illicit drug trade was entered into by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

The signing ceremony, held at the BI headquarters in Manila, was attended by key officials from both organizations, including BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco and PDEA Director General Moro Virgilio Lazo.

The MOA underscores the commitment of both agencies to work collaboratively in addressing the complex challenges posed by drug trafficking and other illicit activities.

Tansingco emphasized the critical role of the BI in investigating and identifying foreign nationals who may be involved in drug trafficking.

“As the primary agency responsible for immigration and alien registration laws, the BI plays a crucial role in detecting and preventing the entry of individuals engaged in illegal activities, including drug trafficking. The MOA allows the BI to provide necessary intelligence assistance to thwart the movement of foreign drug traffickers,” he added.

Under the data-sharing agreement, the BI will provide PDEA with necessary information about foreign nationals suspected to be involved in drug trade in the country.

During the activity, the PDEA PDEA DG Lazo presented certificates of appreciation to key BI officials including BI Intelligence Division Chief Fortunato Manahan, Jr. and BI Anti-Terrorist Group NAIA Head Bienvenido Castillo III in recognition of their exemplary contributions to border security and immigration management.

“This collaboration between the BI and PDEA marks a significant milestone in the government’s efforts to combat drug trafficking and safeguard national security,” said Tansingco.

“By leveraging the strengths of both agencies and enhancing information sharing, they are poised to strengthen border controls and protect the Filipino people from the threats posed by illegal drugs,” he added.

It can be recalled that in June, the BI’s proactive efforts assisted the PDEA and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIADITG) in intercepting a Canadian woman reportedly smuggling 48M worth of drugs wrapped in chocolate.

In November last year, BI agents also flagged the entry of a Bolivian who attempted to smuggle 47M worth of cocaine mixed in toffee and fish food.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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