IMMIGRATION authorities said they have arrested a big-time Chinese drug lord on his way out of the country.

In a report, Immigration bureau port operations division chief Grifton SP. Medina said agents had stopped Hong Liangyi at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. The suspect was on his way to Tehran via Istanbul.

Authorities apprehended Mr. Hong after finding out that he was the subject of a travel ban and has a standing arrest warrant for illegal drugs, he said. He was turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

“Authorities have identified him as a leading member of the Dragon Wu International Syndicate, allegedly responsible for the production and distribution of illegal drugs in the country,” Mr. Medina said.

The bureau said Mr. Hong and two other Chinese drug suspects were the subject of a hold departure order issued by a Tagaytay City trial court. He, along with 13 other drug suspects also have an arrest warrant from a trial court in Rosario, Batangas.

Dragon Wu syndicate was said to be behind several crystal meth laboratories in the country including a warehouse at a farm in Ibaan, Batangas, which authorities discovered in April last year.

It was also said to be the operator of an ecstasy laboratory in Malabon City raided in April last year.

The bureau, citing PDEA, said the syndicate stemmed from the so-called “Golden Triangle” area, which is notorious for being the “world’s foremost drug-producing region.” — Vann Marlo M. Villegas