THE Naval Forces Western Mindanao (Navforwem) intercepted smuggled cigarettes with an estimated value of P18 million off Zamboanga City, the Navforwem said Wednesday, June 26.
Rear Admiral Erick Kagaoan, Navforwem commander, said the smuggled cigarette shipment was intercepted around 3 a.m. Wednesday in the vicinity seawaters off Bagong Calarian, west of this city.
Kagaoan said the Navforwem personnel aboard a patrol craft were conducting seaborne patrol when they spotted a Jungkung-type motorboat named Azeez express, with six crew aboard, moving towards this city.
He said the motorboat was found to be loaded with some 600 master cases of cigarettes with brand name “Bravo” when an onboard inspection was conducted.
Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr., Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Zamboanga District collector, said in earlier interviews that each master case of cigarettes is worth some P30,000 indicating the seized shipment is worth some P18 million.
Kagaoan said the Azeez express was towed to the Ensign Majini Pier at the Naval Station Romulo Espaldon that houses the Navforwem headquarters in this city.
He said the seized shipment of smuggled cigarettes was turned over to the local office of the Bureau of Customs. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)