MANILA, Philippines — A Filipino was among eight members of a transnational drug trafficking syndicate busted by Chinese authorities, who also seized 54 million renminbi (about $7.09M) worth of drugs, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.
Quoting the report of the Philippine embassy in Beijing, the DFA said China’s Ministry of Public Security said the suspects also included a former Chinese navy soldier.
The DFA will not release the name of the Filipino for reasons of privacy.
According to the DFA, an official of the Chinese ministry’s Narcotics Control Bureau attributed the successful drug bust to close police cooperation between the Philippines and China over the past three years.
The same official said the gang is known to be a major drug processor and trafficker in the region.
Philippine Ambassador to China Sonia Brady has strongly urged all Filipinos to avoid any involvement in drug trafficking when traveling to China, where smugglers and couriers of illegal drugs are bound to face heavy penalties.
“Under the Chinese penal code, anybody caught bringing more than 50 grams of prohibited drugs into China may be sentenced to a fixed term imprisonment of 15 years, life imprisonment, or death,” Brady said.
In a related development, the DFA noted that China’s Supreme People’s Court has warned members and leaders of drug syndicates and those who participate in cross-border drug crimes that it would show them no leniency and hand down heavy penalties, including capital punishment.
Noting an alarming increase in cases involving new drugs such as methadone and ketamine, and the use of tourists and pregnant women as couriers, the Chinese high court updated its judicial interpretation and raised the penalties under its criminal law for drug offenses.
Earlier, it had approved the death penalty imposed by lower courts on seven Chinese citizens convicted of drug trafficking.
In two separate cases in June 2007, courts in Shanghai and Guangdong imposed life sentences on two Filipino nationals caught bringing illegal drugs into China.