Ex-Embassy Driver Arrested for Suspected Drug Offense in Israel, Philippine Embassy Steps up Cooperation with Israeli Interpol

 

Tel Aviv, 25 May 2017. An ex-driver of the Philippine Embassy in Israel was arrested recently by Israel's Interpol for a drug-related offense. According to Israel's Interpol, he was caught at the Ben Gurion International Airport retrieving a package containing illegal narcotics.

 

 

 

The suspect, who is now under police custody, was a Filipino local hire of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office and served as the driver of the labor attachés for 6 years before his contract ended in March 2017.

 

 

 

The Embassy reported that it would treat the matter as an Assistance to Nationals case and has sent a consular officer to visit him in detention to ensure that due process is observed. He has been provided a defense lawyer.

 

 

 

Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial has assured the Israeli Government in a Note Verbale that the Embassy will cooperate fully with the investigation of the Israeli police.

 

 

 

"We will relentlessly pursue the campaign against the trafficking and use of illegal narcotics among our OFWs in Israel in accordance with the thrust of the Philippine Government," the ambassador stressed.

 

 

 

"The problem is no longer confined to the Philippines, but also affects many Filipinos overseas. It is important for OFWs as guest workers to strictly follow the laws of the host country as well as the Philippines," he added.

 

 

 

The Embassy immediately ordered a drug test for all its staff and officers and formed an internal investigation committee to look into the possible involvement of other Filipinos in the drug trade. The results of the drug tests were negative for all embassy employees.

 

 

 

"We want to assure the public of our serious commitment to address the scourge of drug trafficking and that we will not tolerate the involvement of any individual in this criminal activity," the Philippine envoy said.

 

 

 

The Embassy has been coordinating with Israel's Interpol since 2015 in its anti-narcotics drive with the full support of the Filipino community, and has issued several advisories on the modus operandi being used to victimize Filipinos and other migrant workers.

 

 

 

Early this year, the Philippines proposed to Israel a bilateral agreement on cooperation to curb illegal narcotics after a spate of arrests and convictions of Filipino workers in Israel for drug trafficking. The draft agreement is currently being reviewed by both sides.

 

 

 

Enclosed is a copy of the Embassy's latest advisory on illegal drugs.

 

PR1 on drugs

PR2 on drugs