Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Filipino woman arrested for smuggling $323,000 worth of cocaine via Addis Ababa

Authorities here apprehended an in-bound Filipina passenger, for attempted smuggling of illegal drugs valued at approximately Php18.3 million (about USD 323,000), at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) disclosed the arrest on Friday (August 25).

According to a statement released by PDEG’s head, Col. Dionisio Bartolome Jr. identified the suspect as Zenaida Esperanza Losloso, 49, who had arrived from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, via flight ET 644 on Thursday evening.

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The collaborative efforts of PDEG, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and the NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADITG) led to Losloso’s apprehension at NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City around 9:45 pm, according to a report by the Philippine News Agency.

During the operation, law enforcement officials discovered roughly 3,454 grams of suspected cocaine, concealed  within an improvised plastic pouch. The estimated street value of the seized drugs is Php18.3 million.

The detained suspect, along with the confiscated evidence, underwent formal documentation and handling procedures at the PDEA Office.Authorities are actively investigating the arrested passenger for potential violations of Republic Act 9165 (RA), also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, as well as RA 10863, which pertains to the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

Gulf News

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Two suspects arrested for kidnapping twenty-six Ethiopian immigrants

Two suspects aged 25 and 32 are in police custody after they were arrested by Benoni police on Wednesday, 23 August 2023 for kidnapping Ethiopian immigrants. Benoni is a town on the East Rand, Gauteng, South Africa, some 26 kilometres (16 mi) east of the Johannesburg.

The duo, facing trafficking of persons, extortion and illegal immigration charges, is expected to reappear in the Benoni Magistrate’s Court on 4 September 2023 for bail application.

Police were alerted about unknown men who were jumping out of the window of a house in Northmead, Benoni, east of Johannesburg. On arrival, 27 foreign nationals were found inside the premises and arrested. They were charged with illegal immigration.

According to the report, twenty-six Ethiopians were found inside the premises and did not have documentation to be in the country. The Germiston-based Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team was alerted.

During the investigation, it was discovered that the suspects were illegally kept in the premises and would be released when their families pay the owner of the premises who had assisted them to enter into the country illegally.

The 27th man who is a Malawian aged 25 is a caretaker who was allegedly guarding and cooking for the others. The Hawks later arrested an Ethiopian national (32) who was the owner of the premises who was allegedly paying the Malawian for guarding services.

The South African

Ethiopian death in crash sparks Tel Aviv protest

Protests erupted in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night over police and judicial incompetence following a hit and run that killed a four-year-old Ethiopian child in May.

The Ethiopian community called out the government’s structural racism, saying authorities were being lenient towards the driver who killed Rafael Adana. Ten were arrested and a police officer was stabbed.

A protester was also injured after jumping from a bridge in an effort to escape police who were chasing him. The protest drew the attention of prominent far-right Israeli politicians who focused on the stabbing of the officer rather than outrage pertaining to the child’s murder.Prime Minister

Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Stabbing a police officer is crossing a red line.”National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir shared Netanyahu’s sentiment saying: “Harming police and security forces is crossing every line and we will find and charge the attacker.”

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The demonstrations began in an effort to raise awareness of Rafael’s murder; the four-year-old had sustained life-threatening injuries as a result of the crash on 6 May and died in hospital days later.

The driver, an elderly woman, justified her hit-and-run by saying that she “didn’t feel” the car hitting anything. She later gave testimony to the police about the situation and was allowed to leave the police station after being placed under house arrest.

No charges were brought against the 70-year-old despite pressure from Rafael’s family and activists. Critics have claimed that the police treated the case lightly because Adana was of Ethiopian origin.

Middle East Monitor

Niger military rulers order France Ambassador to leave the country

Niger’s military leadership asked the French ambassador to depart the country – a move further escalating the international crisis in the West African nation after a coup that deposed the democratically elected president.

Niger’s military government also authorized troops from neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso on Friday to come to its defense, raising the stakes in a standoff with other West African nations threatening force to reinstate Niger’s democratically elected president.

Military government also authorized troops from neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso to come to its defense, raising the stakes in a standoff with other West African nations threatening force.

French Ambassador Sylvain Itte was asked to leave Niger within 48 hours in a letter that accused him of ignoring an invitation for a meeting with the foreign ministry.

The letter dated Friday, also cited “actions of the French government contrary to the interests of Niger” as among the reasons for Itte’s expulsion. France’s foreign ministry on Friday said Niger’s “putschists have no authority” to ask its ambassador in Niamey to leave.


Sudan war could tip region into catastrophe – UN

The UN says the war in Sudan is having a devastating impact on the whole country and could tip the entire region into a humanitarian catastrophe.

Fighting between the army and a paramilitary force began in April and is spreading.

The UN says hundreds of thousands of children are severely malnourished and are at imminent risk of death if left untreated.

The UN’s Humanitarian Co-ordinator says hunger, disease and displacement are threatening to totally destroy Sudan.

There have been many grim reports about the impact of the war but Martin Griffiths is suggesting that if the fighting between the army and the Rapid Support Forces continues, the whole region will face dire consequences.

This week the charity Save The Children said because of the violence it had been forced to close down dozens of its nutrition facilities. It said more than 30,000 children were missing out on treatment and as a result close to 500 had died.


Pentagon policy official underscores defense ties with Djibouti

Mara Karlin, performing the duties of the US deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, underscored the strong ties between Djibouti and the US after meeting in Djibouti last week with senior leaders from U.S. Africa Command and the President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh.

“It’s amazing to see how the relationship with Djibouti has burgeoned over the last two-and-a-half decades,” said Karlin.

“Djibouti is a critical location, and it’s a critical partnership that we have with the Djiboutians,” she said.  

Karlin met with Guelleh alongside U.S. Africom commander, Marine Corps. Gen. Michael Langley to talk through the U.S.-Djibouti partnership, which she said, “has only grown closer in recent years.” 

“We talked through the contribution of this partnership to regional security and stability and how we see it going forward,” Karlin said. “We had a really positive set of conversations with them.” 

Djibouti hosts the only U.S. base in Africa, Camp Lemonnier, home to more than 5,000 deployed service members, Department of Defense civilians and contractors.  

Camp Lemonnier serves as a strategic location from which the US remains postured to address a variety of security challenges ranging from violent extremist organizations to U.S. strategic competitors.

The base is also situated along the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes that is the gateway from the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

US Department of Defense

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