Chinese arrested over P9-M worth smuggled cigarettes in Gensan

A Chinese businessman was arrested after authorities seized almost P9 million worth of suspects cigarettes from him at Oringo Subdivision, Barangay City Heights, General Santos City, Monday night.

A total of 271 boxes of such cigarettes were confiscated. Half a million pesos cash was also recovered.

The suspect said his friend left the boxes to him and asked him to wait for the cigarette’s buyer. The buyer did not arrive after a week until the police operatives test-buy him.

According to Police Lt. Col. Lino Capellan, a spokesman for Police Regional Office 12, four sachets of shabu were also obtained from the Chinese, but the suspect denied it.

Selling cellphones is the suspect’s source of income. His wife is a Filipino and has been in the country for ten years.

The intelligence operatives monitored the businessman for two months.

“Monitored na yung lahat ng kanilang movement. Pati pagpasok ng mga produkto, naka-closed van yan at ipinapasok doon sa kanyang nirerentahang bahay,”  said Capellan.

(We monitored all of his movements, even the products’ entry. They were inside a closed van and were transported inside the rented house.)

The Chinese suspect would face several charges.

“Dito sa Intelectual Property Act natin, itong Customs and Tariff Administration yung Republic Act din natin, at kakasuhan din natin ng 9165 sa drugs kasi doon sa pagkakaaresto sa kanya may nakuhang sachet ng shabu,” said Capellan.

(He would face a violation of our Intelectual Property Act, Customs and Tariff Administration Republic Act, and he would also face 9165 because of the shabu recovered from him.)

Police are investigating the identity of the suspect’s friend, who allegedly left the boxes of cigarettes, which are believed to be from Indonesia.

Last month, Port of Davao authorities seized 1,325 boxes of imported President brand cigarettes from Vietnam worth P24,843,750 at the sub-port of Dadiangas also in General Santos City.

Philippine Marines operatives stationed in a highway checkpoint in Buldon, Maguindanao also arrested two men and seized P120,000 worth of cigarettes.

During the inspection, the Marines noticed that the sizes of the boxes were similar to those previously apprehended with items.