ZAMBOANGA CITY: Authorities intercepted over the weekend some P11 million worth of smuggled cigarettes at the local port of this city.
Rear Admiral Rene Medina, commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao, said joint operatives on illegal drugs and anti-smuggling seized the imported tobacco products inside commercial vessel MV Kristel Jane on Saturday, February 9. The vessel came from Jolo, Sulu, he added.
“The joint operatives were able to confiscate 12,640 reams of imported different brands of cigarettes with an estimated market price of P11M,” Medina said.
The confiscated items will be escorted to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) office for safe keeping prior to proper disposition.
“The successful foiling of the illegal transport of smuggled imported cigarettes is a result of an intensified and focused maritime patrol and operation of the Philippine Navy in collaboration with other agencies,” Medina said.
The joint operatives are composed of elements from Field Station Zamboanga, Naval Intelligence and Security Group-Western Mindanao (NISG-WM); Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Region 9 (PDEA R9); Intelligence Service AFP; Port Police; Marine Battalion Landing Team-11; Philippine Air Force in coordination with the personnel from Coast Guard Station Zamboanga; and BOC. /kga