Kenyan, Pinay cohort sentenced to life for drug smuggling
Reinir Padua (The Philippine Star) - October 27, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A Kenyan woman and her Filipina cohort, who had been tagged as the recruiter of another Filipina drug mule jailed in China, have been sentenced to life behind bars for narcotics trafficking here in the Philippines.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said both Elizabeth Nyambura Runana and Maria Grace Navarro Lacson are members of an African drug syndicate.

PDEA director general Undersecretary Arturo Cacdac Jr. yesterday said the two were convicted by a Manila court to life imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of P2 million each for the delivery of 4.5 kilograms of shabu.

Cacdac said Lacson, alias Gina, is the recruiter of drug couriers from Concepcion, Tarlac.

The PDEA chief said Lacson had been under surveillance before her arrest in 2011 as she had been responsible for victimizing Filipinas to become drug couriers since 2007.

Cacdac said one of Lacson’s recruits was Melanie Pangan Mañalac who was arrested in Guangzhou, China in 2008 for transporting heroin.

Judge Maria Bernardita Santos, of the Regional Trial Court Branch 35, found Runana and Lacson guilty of conspiracy in the delivery of dangerous drugs.

Cacdac said Runana and Lacson were both sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole.

On June 29, 2011, operatives of PDEA Special Enforcement Service arrested Runana and Lacson after they were caught handing over packages containing 4.5 kilos of shabu worth P24 million to a PDEA agent and a confidential informant at a room inside a hotel along Adriatico Street in Malate.

A KENYAN ADRIATICO STREET CACDAC DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY ELIZABETH NYAMBURA RUNANA AND MARIA GRACE NAVARRO LACSON FILIPINA JUDGE MARIA BERNARDITA SANTOS LACSON MELANIE PANGAN MA ON JUNE RUNANA AND LACSON
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