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A 39-year-old Palauan woman was allegedly carrying 50 grams of methamphetamine in her body while entering Palau from Manila, Philippines on Saturday.
This is a second attempt within one week to traffic methamphetamine into the country.
Last week, a man named Mike Taman (Teman) who was on his way to Palau was arrested at the airport in Manila after the airport security officials frisked him and found 10 sachets of meth inside a diaper.
According to the court documents acquired by the Island Times, Teman was a confidential informant (CI) of the Belau Drug Enforcement task force (BDETF) and was paid monetary compensation for his use in ‘controlled buy’ operations.
Happy Fritz who was searched on Saturday at the Palau airport and Belau National Hospital was arrested on the afternoon of the same day.
The court imposed a cash bail of US$5,000 on Monday and gave 09 May, 2019 as the date for a status conference.
The x-ray conducted at the hospital, which according to the NEA official was volunteered by Fritz, revealed a foreign object in her body.
This x-ray was however the last search to which Fritz voluntarily cooperated and happened after the series of previous searches conducted by the officials with cooperation from Fritz.
The agents obtained a search warrant on the same day from Palau Supreme Court and executed the warrant at the hospital itself.
What was revealed from the search was 50 grams of field tested positive methamphetamine popularly known as ice.
According to the statements by Det. Miwa Nebayama who is a special agent with the Narcotic Enforcement Agency(NEA), Fritz left Palau on the 16th of this month for a meeting with a friend in the Philippines about a business opportunity and came back on the 20th.
Her baggage was searched by the customs agents on arrival and the statements by Nabeyama read that Fritz appeared calm at first.
But, as the search and the questioning continued she became agitated.
Fritz agreed to the secondary search requested by the custom official which was performed by female agents.
“Upon arrival at secondary search area Happy Fritz immediately removed her clothing prior to being asked to do so.” Nabeyama said.
It was during this secondary search that the agents found a piece of gauze which they believed secured illegal substances in the suspects’ body.
According to Nabeyama in his statement, there was an attempt by Fritz to push the white object farther inside her body and denied possession of any suspicious object.
For an unknown reason, Fritz suggested going to the hospital for further search voluntarily and submitted to an x-ray.
With estimated street value of US$1,000 per gram of methamphetamine in Palau, the confiscated illegal substance is valued at around US$50,000
The NEA director Ismael Aguon told the Island Times that he will be answering all the questions in the meeting that the vice president will hold on Tuesday with Aguon and other members of the media present.
SOURCE: ISLAND TIMES/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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