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Travel pattern monitoring yields result; Bolivian drug trafficker nabbed – BI

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Citing the effectiveness of travel pattern monitoring, Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco annnounced the the arrest of a Bolivian drug trafficker by immigration operatives assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.

Roberth Lavadenz Alvarez, 30, reportedly attempted to smuggle illegal drugs when he was intercepted by airport authorities.

“This operation emphasizes the importance of international collaboration in combating the illegal drug trade. The dedication of law enforcement agencies played a vital role in upholding the law and protecting the nation,” Tansingco said.

BI Anti-Terrorist Group (ATG) airport head Bienvenido Castillo III said that the arrest was the result of the agency’s travel pattern monitoring, noting that Alvarez was found to have suspicious travels.

It was learned that Alvarez arrived in Manila from Brazil on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight, with a layover in Addis Ababa. Additional information from US counterparts led the BI team to intercept Alvarez upon his arrival in the Philippines.

The BI-ATG alerted other members of the NAIA Drug Interdiction Task Group (DITG) of the interception and during luggage inspection by the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency K9 units alerted authorities about the belongings of Alvarez.

Inspection revealed four plastic packs resembling toffee candies, totaling 405 pieces and four bags containing what appeared to be fish food, with a total weight of 5,515 grams. Initial field tests confirmed the presence of illegal substances.

During interrogation, Alvarez admitted that an individual of African descent offered him $5,000 to transport said items to Manila, with instructions to await further guidance at his hotel upon arrival. He was immediately arrested and is currently in the custody of the PDEA.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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