By Jun Ramirez
Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have caught an alleged member of a big-time Chinese drug syndicate as he was attempting to flee the country.
In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI Port Operations Chief Grifton Medina said 29-year-old Hong Liangyi was stopped Sunday night at the NAIA termimal 3 departure area before he could board a flight to Istanbul, Turkey en route to his final destination in Tehran, Iran.
Medina said Hong was barred from leaving after immigration officers found that he was in the BI’s hold departure list and was the subject of an arrest warrant due to criminal cases for illegal drugs that were filed against him before the courts in Cavite and Batangas.
“Authorities have identified him as a leading member of the Dragon Wu International Syndicate allegedly responsible for the production and distribution of illegal drugs in the country,” Medina said
The suspect was turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Administration (PDEA).
It was learned that last January, Hong and two other Chinese drug suspects were issued a hold departure order (HDO) by the Tagaytay City regional trial court where the three aliens are respondents in a pending criminal case.
A separate drug case was also filed against Hong and 13 other drug suspects before the regional trial court in Rosario, Batangas.
Law enforcement agencies have tagged the Dragon Wu syndicate as behind the operations of several shabu laboratories that were discovered and raided in several places of the country.
Among these was the shabu laboratory that PDEA agents discovered inside a warehouse at a farm in Ibaan, Batangas on April last year and which resulted in the arrest of four Chinese suspects and four of their Filipino accomplices.
The syndicate was also pinpointed as the operator of a clandestine ecstasy laboratory that was raided in Malabon City on April last year.
PDEA previously said that “Dragon Wu” traces its roots to the so-called “Golden Triangle,” the world’s foremost drug-producing region bounded by Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.