Friday, April 16, 2010

Vietnam charges Philippine ex-cop with heroin smuggling

Source: DPA

Hanoi - Vietnamese police have brought charges against three Philippine citizens allegedly involved in a ring that smuggled heroin from Cambodia to the Philippines, a police official said Friday.

Colonel Le Thanh Liem, deputy director of Vietnam's anti-narcotics police department, said the defendants include John Lopez Diemsen, 48, a former senior officer in the Philippine police force.

The newspaper Nhan Dan reported Friday that police had arrested Diemsen and a second Philippine man, Raquel Malayao Ramos, 32, in August in the province of Tay Ninh, near the Cambodian border. Ramos was reportedly delivering 847 grams of heroin to Diemsen.

The next day, based on testimony from Ramos and Diemsen, police arrested Pahilan Ordanza Jefrey, 27, in Ho Chi Minh City. She had been waiting for Diemsen to deliver the heroin, which she planned to take with her on a flight to the Philippines.

Vietnamese police said they had acted on a tip from Cambodian police. Under Vietnamese law, if found guilty, the three accused face penalties ranging from 20 years in prison to the death penalty.

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