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EL Salvador national nabbed at NAIA; backpack had P16-m worth of cocaine

Domingo Quintanilla Franco
The Salvadoran national who was caught with a backpack containing P16-million worth of shabu. (JERRY S. TAN)

The NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADTG) nabbed a newly- arrived Salvadoran passenger who was found to be carrying a backpack containing P16-million worth of cocaine.

Domingo Quintanilla Franco, 45, an El Salvador national and an electrician, was arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport NAIA Terminal 3, on Monday afternoon.The NAIA-IADITG is also investigating whether or not Franco is a drug mule and if he has any contact in the Philippines.

An initial investigation showed that Franco arrived at NAIA at 5:40 p.m. on May 22, 2023, on board a Qatar Airways flight QR 932 from Doha. His point of origin was Brazil.

Based on tipped information from foreign counterparts and customs intelligence, the NAIA-IADTG conducted an interdiction operation at the Customs International Arrival Area, NAIA Terminal 3 which resulted in the arrest of the suspect who was carrying a backpack containing nine transparent plastic bags containing more or less 3,120 grams of white powdery substance suspected to be cocaine with current street value of P16,536, 000.

Aside from the drug cache, the inventory of items seized from the suspect listed one piece of luggage containing assorted clothes and other personal belongings; passport, 2 boarding passes, a customs baggage declaration form, 3 pages of printed airline tickets and a mobile phone.

Franco had been turned over to the PDEA for the filling of appropriate illegal drugs charges against him.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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