MANILA – The pretext of marriage. A very tempting all-expense paid trip offer, with a large sum of money for every transaction made.
These are just some of the tricks drug syndicates use to lure their next victims to smuggle illegal drugs into another country.
“We appeal to all Filipinos not to be victimized by international drug syndicates and to avoid falling for the modus operandi employed by drug trafficking syndicates,” an advisory issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
The DFA, citing the report from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), said recruiters of drug syndicates usually befriend their potential victims through casual acquaintances or the Internet. Sometimes, they enter into a relationship and even promise to marry the unsuspecting victims to further earn their trust.
The potential drug courier is lured or attracted by the offer of payment of $3,000 or P130,000 up to $15,000 or P660,000 for every successful delivery or transaction. They are provided with plane tickets and hotel accommodations.
The DFA said that most drug couriers that have been caught are male. Some are displaced overseas Filipino workers looking for jobs abroad. Some have poor educational background.
However, there are those who are well-educated too and were lured by drug syndicates’ offer of “easy money” and the opportunity to travel to different countries.
“We call for personal vigilance and responsibility on the part of Filipinos who travel abroad. We remind our kababayans that the laws imposed by host countries govern cases of drug trafficking,” the DFA said.
Filipinos are often targeted because they are English proficient, their ability to speak other languages and due to their computer and Internet skills.
Drug syndicates also deemed Filipinos to have an “unassuming behavior” which attracts less attention from authorities. They also have a positive disposition which drug syndicates exploit.
“We hope that this information will help our kababayans to be more equipped in preventing themselves from becoming victims of drug syndicates,” the DFA said.