The Philippine Star

P10.6-M smuggled cigarettes seized off Zamboanga

- – Roel Pareño, Robertzon Ramirez, Czeriza Valencia

A boat loaded with 300 cases of assorted smuggled cigarettes worth P10.6 million was intercepte­d off the coast of Zamboanga City on Thursday.

Navy personnel and intelligen­ce agents of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized MB Princess Amina off the coast of Barangay Sinunuc, Rear Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr., Naval Forces Western Mindanao commander, said.

Adaci said the operation was launched after they received reports that a vessel carrying smuggled cigarettes left for Zamboanga from Jolo in Sulu.

The vessel was escorted to Naval Station Romulo Espaldon for inventory and documentat­ion.

Adaci said the seized items were turned over to the BOC district office.

“The operation is in support of Westmincom’s guidance to collaborat­e with other law enforcemen­t agencies to secure our maritime area and prevent illegal activities at sea in Western Mindanao,” he said.

The BOC said charges for violation of the Amended Rules and Regulation­s Governing the Exportatio­n and Importatio­n of Tobacco and Tobacco Products pursuant to Executive Order 245 would be filed against the suspects.

The suspects, who have yet to be identified, also face charges for violation of the National Internal Revenue Code and Customs Modernizat­ion and Tariff Act.

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