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Pinoy seafarer pleads guilty to trafficking 2kg of cocaine

28 November 2018

The 1.98 kilos of cocaine molded as shoe soles

By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipino seafarer has pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking nearly 2 kilos of high-grade cocaine molded like shoe soles in June 2017.

Carlito Platon admitted his guilt before High Court Justice Esther Toh on Nov 27, a day before the start of a nine-day trial of his two Colombian co-defendants – Cristhian Enrique Posso and Jose William Uribe.

Consul Saret attended Platon's arraignment 
Consulate officials said Justice Toh deferred sentencing of 49-year-old Platon until after the verdict on Posso and Uribe is known. 

Consul Paulo Saret, head of the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section, and ATN officer Joel Oronan were at the High Court for the arraignment of the seafarer.

“Hopefully, (Platon’s guilty plea) would lead to a further reduction of his sentence,” Saret told The SUN.

Platon pleaded guilty to drug trafficking
at the High Court 
Oronan said ATN had already informed Platon’s family in Batangas about the development.

“Hindi na sila nagpunta pero continuous naman ang coordination nila sa amin through email and phone. Nagpapabalita na lang sila if may new update,” Oronan said.

The three suspects were initially charged with trafficking 1.33 kg of cocaine camouflaged as shoe soles following their arrest on Nathan Road in Yaumatei on June 2, 2017.

They were also initially accused of obstruction when intercepted by an arresting team comprising customs and police officers.

According to the prosecution, Platon disembarked from a cargo vessel that docked at Kwai Chung port that day. He had in his backpack two pairs of shoe soles that somebody had allegedly asked him to deliver to Posso and Uribe in Yaumatei.

But the officers accosted Platon and found the two shoe soles, which turned out to be molded cocaine, in his bag. They also recovered US$10,000 from him.

Posso and Uribe were arrested in a follow-up operation on the same day.

In a hearing in Kowloon City Court on Oct 26, prosecutors amended the trafficking charge and applied for a transfer of the case to the High Court after laboratory tests showed the cocaine seized from them weighed 1.98 kilograms.

The prosecution also dropped the three charges of obstructing a customs officer.

Platon had not applied for bail since his arrest, but his two co-defendants did, but were rejected.

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