GOVERNMENT agents have seized more than P13 million worth of assorted smuggled cigarettes in two separate law enforcement operations in Zamboanga Peninsula, the police reported Tuesday, May 4.
Police Brigadier General Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula director, said the bulk of the confiscation of smuggled cigarettes was made around 2:30 a.m. Monday, May 3, in San Roque village, Zamboanga City.
Ylagan said the personnel of the Zamboanga City Police Office's Station 7 intercepted a cargo truck with four people aboard while conducting a checkpoint in San Roque village prior to the confiscation of the smuggled cigarettes.
Ylagan said the truck was driven by Benmark Sombillo, 30 with three assistants, namely, Aldin Sabtal, 29; Omar Juljani, 35; and Badi Abtang, 48.
He said policemen learned from the four that they are to haul cargo from a warehouse in Zone 3, San Roque.
He said the police, together with Bureau of Customs (BOC) operatives, inspected and seized 372 master cases of smuggled cigarettes of assorted brands like New Berlin, Royal, Union, Tradition, Fort, and New Far with an estimated worth of P13,020,000.
He said the confiscated items along with the container truck were brought to the BOC warehouse for proper disposition.
Further investigation showed that the assorted cigarettes are owned by Sherwina Joe-Alihuddin of Barangay San Roque, who was not around when the lawmen swooped down her warehouse.
Meanwhile, policemen from Zamboanga Sibugay and Maritime Group have seized some P70,000 worth of smuggled cigarettes around 1 a.m. Tuesday, May 4, in Purok Orchids in Gango, R.T. Lim town in the same province.
Ylagan said the police operatives rushed to Purok Orchids in Gango village following reports that smuggled cigarettes are being unloaded in the area.
He said, though, that the smuggled cigarettes were abandoned upon sensing the arrival of the policemen. (SunStar Zamboanga)