SOME P4.5 million worth of smuggled cigarettes were seized and seven people were arrested in an anti-smuggling campaign by government operatives off Zamboanga City, the police reported Thursday, August 5.

Police Brigadier General Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula director, said the shipment of smuggled cigarettes was seized around 3 a.m. Wednesday, August 4, near Tumalutap Island, one of the 11 islands east of the city.

Ylagan said the joint operatives of the 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company and Bureau of Customs (BOC) were conducting seaborne patrol when they chanced upon a motorized wooden watercraft locally known as "Jungkong" with seven people aboard, including three minors.

When inspected, the watercraft was found to be loaded with undocumented 128 master cases and 34 reams of Champion Menthol cigarettes with an estimated worth of P4.5 million, according to Ylagan.

He said that four of the seven people, who are adults, aboard the watercraft were identified as Faijal Ensani Amat 26; Jimmy Nuruddin Sabturani, 54; Sabri Abdul Abduraknan, 21; and Julhabir Radjail Umaron, 26.

He said the watercraft, which came from Jolo, Sulu, its cargo and the people aboard were turned over to the BOC for proper disposition. (SunStar Zamboanga)