Two Singaporeans were arrested at an airport in the Philippines after they were caught for allegedly transporting 14.36kg of suspected cocaine worth 76.1 million pesos (S$1.83 million) into the country.
The duo were identified by the authorities and the Philippine media as Ms Siti Aishah Awang, 63, a restaurant waitress, and her daughter, Ms Alaviyah Hanaffe, a make-up artist, 39.
They were detained after they arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila from Doha, Qatar, at 1am on Thursday.
The Manila Times quoted the Bureau of Customs (BoC) as saying the two were arrested after the authorities profiled arriving passengers.
Officers from the airport’s inter-agency drug interdiction task group then found 341 pieces of pellets containing “white powdered substance suspected to be cocaine” in their luggage.
The pellets were stuffed in the packaging of cookies and chips in the guise of “pasalubongs” (gifts), reported CNN Philippines.
The substance and the two women are now under the custody of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for further investigation.
The mother, Ms Siti Aishah, told the Philippine press that “I don’t know anything, because they said that this one is… nothing illegal.”
Her daughter, who had her face covered, continued: “My mum already said that she doesn’t know anything. She doesn’t know what does it contain. That’s it. Thank you so much.”
The Straits Times has contacted Singapore’s Central Narcotics Bureau for comments.