A JOINT team of policemen and Bureau of Customs (BOC) personnel have arrested 14 people and seized some P2.5 million worth of assorted smuggled cigarettes in an anti-smuggling operation Wednesday, November 23, 2022, off Zamboanga City.

Police Colonel Alexander Lorenzo, Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) director, said the joint team was conducting seaborne patrol when they chanced upon a motorboat locally known as “jungkong” around 5 a.m. Wednesday, November 23, in the vicinity of RT Lim Boulevard navigating towards the village of Baliwasan.

When inspected, Lorenzo said the motorboat marked “MB Mernalyn” and manned by a 14-man crew was found to be loaded with assorted cigarettes worth P2,520,000.

Lorenzo said the cigarettes were immediately confiscated when no one of the crew, who were also arrested, was able to present documents of their cargo that came from Jolo, Sulu.

He said the motorboat, cigarettes and all the crewmen were turned over to the custody of the BOC for proper disposition.

He lauded the personnel of the 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force “Seaborne” Company and BOC for the successful anti-smuggling operation that led to the confiscation of the P2.5 million worth of contraband.

He said the ZCPO will continue to intensify border control on illegal entries and smuggling activities. (SunStar Zamboanga)