The Bureau of Customs-Port of Zamboanga seized around P10.8 million worth of smuggled cigarettes off Zamboanga del Sur’s coast on Friday.
Customs said Monday that through a maritime patrol off Tabina, Zamboanga del Sur, the anti-smuggling team seized one motorized boat. A certain personality from Pangdan, Kaluwa Sulu, allegedly owns the boat, which was loaded with t300 master cases of assorted smuggled cigarettes.
Authorities said the shipment was allegedly for a certain “ASUL” in Pagadian City.
The Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service and the Enforcement and Security Service joined with operatives from Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and representatives from Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Inc. in the operation. A concerned citizen tipped the authorities that alleged smuggled cigarettes were on board the fishing boat bound for Pagadian.
According to acting District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr., it is the first time that a bulk coming from a transshipment aboard a wooden motorized banca in Pagadian was seized.
Barte issued a warrant of seizure and detention against the shipment for lack of permit from the National Tobacco Administration and violation of Executive Order No. 245 (Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exportation and Importation of Tobacco and Tobacco Products) and Section 117 of the Republic Act No. 10863 (Customs Modernization and Tariff Act).
Cigarettes from China destroyed
Operatives destroyed them in a warehouse facility in Opol, Misamis Oriental, on Friday, October 2.
“A team led by District Collector John Simon, District Commander of Enforcement and Security Services (ESS) SP/Capt. Abdila Maulana Jr., District Chief of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Oliver Valliente and personnel from Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Northern Mindanao, condemned through crushing 79,800 reams of cigarettes,” it said.
The BOC said also destroyed the shipment consigned to Fern Freight Enterprises, which arrived at Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, on May 14, 2020, and declared to be office furniture.
Also destroyed were cigarettes from shipment consigned to Dong Yin Industrial Supplies, which arrived on June 9, 2020, at Mindanao Container Terminal. They were declared disposable cups.