Arrested: Russian drug courier with P64M worth of cocaine

MANILA, Philippines – A female Russian national carrying P64 million worth of cocaine was arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) last week, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

Anastasha Novopashina, 32, was caught with 12,781.90 grams of high-grade cocaine in her luggage on November 28, following joint operations of the Customs Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force, Enforcement Security Service-NAIA, Customs Investigation and Intelligence Service, Office of the District Collector - NAIA, and NAIA Drug Interdiction Task Group (DITG).

The seized drugs, which have been turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for examination, have an estimated street value of P64 million.

According to the BOC, Customs officials began monitoring Novopashina after receiving an intelligence report from US anti-narcotics authorities.

Novopashina arrived in the Philippines on Emirates Air flight EK332 from Sao Paolo, Brazil, via Dubai.

She is currently detained at the NAIA- DITG holding area for booking and documentation.

Since July, the BOC has conducted 8 anti-illegal drugs operations, yielding about P227 million worth of cocaine. In October, 3 suspected foreign drug couriers carrying P100 million worth of cocaine were also intercepted at NAIA.

The total value of various types of illegal drugs confiscated by the BOC is pegged at P1.173 billion.