A Flemish drug dealer has been arrested with an estimated €9,000 worth of narcotics in the Philippines, where the government is currently waging a deadly war on illegal drugs.
The 31-year-old Belgian, identified in media as David DW, was arrested alongside three Filippino nationals in a drug deal staged by police.
Following the sting operation, the man told a TV crew at a police station that he used marijuana to counter his sleeping problems, HLN reports.
But in addition to the roughly 15 grams of marijuana found by police during the arrest, the Flemish dealer was also found in possession of several grams of ecstasy in powder, tablets and capsules, with his total drug bundle estimated at around 500,000 Philippino pesos, or around €9,000.
The sting operation was reportedly successfully concluded in a matter of hours, with police’s questioning of a teen client at around 3:00 PM eventually leading them up the supply chain to the Belgian dealer, who was arrested by 8:00 PM that evening.
Belgium’s foreign affairs ministry said that it had not been made aware of the arrest, adding that even small drug offenders in the Philippines can face serious penalties.
“Even more minute quantities, you can be imprisoned for life,” a ministry spokesperson told HLN.
The Flemish man’s arrest marks the second drug-related arrest of a Belgian in the Philippines and comes three years after the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, launched a ruthless war on drugs, targetting both dealers and users.
As of February 2019, at least 5,000 people had died as a result of the government’s brutal clampdown, which has drawn international criticism over extrajudicial killings and calls from the president for citizens to kill drug addicts “themselves.”
The Brussels Times