ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities seized what is considered the largest haul of smuggled cigarettes after intercepting two boats carrying P210 million worth of police cigarettes this Wednesday in Zamboanga City.
Based on the report released by Lt. Col. Reynald Ariño, 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force “Seaborne” Company, around 5:00 PM intercepted the contraband in Tumalutap, which is one of the eight barangay islands in the said city.
Ariño said, a group of PNP and operatives of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) spotted two ships named M/V Nurkaisa and M/V Phoenix loaded with smuggled cigarettes while conducting a seaborne patrol.
There were 12 people on board the two ships but they failed to show documents on their cargo of cigarettes that were going from Jolo, Sulu to Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay province.
According to Mayor John Dalipe, the two ships are loaded with approximately 6,000 master cases of different types of cigarettes.
“I call on the security sector to intensify its operations against smuggling. I’ll see to it that those involved will be dealt with accordingly,” pahayag pa ni Dalipe.
The seizure of P210M worth of contraband cigarettes is the second of those seized by authorities this month of October.
It will be recalled that on October 3, more than P1.9M worth of smuggled cigarettes were seized near the island of Sta. Cruz in the aforementioned city from Jolo, Sulu to Cotabato City./Mary Anne Sapico
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