FOUR people were arrested while some P4.9 million worth of smuggled cigarettes were seized off Zamboanga City, the police reported.

Police Colonel Alexander Lorenzo, Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) director, said the contrabands’ shipment were seized around 10:35 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, in the waters of Arena Blanco village, east of Zamboanga City.

Arrested were Emmar Parsing, 21, Idil Jaam, 34, Benladin Hajim, 21, and Munil Balaham, 20, all residents of Lagasan Higad village, Parang, Sulu.

Lorenzo said joint police and Bureau of Customs (BOC) personnel were conducting seaborne patrol when they chanced upon a motorboat with four people aboard navigating towards the shore of Arena Blanco village.

He said they launched seaborne patrol after a tip off that a shipment of smuggled cigarettes is set to arrive in this city via Arena Blanco village.

Lorenzo said the motorboat upon inspection was found to be loaded with 141 master cases of cigarettes worth P4,935,000.

He said the crewmen were arrested and the cargo seized when they failed to present documents of the merchandise that came from Sulu.

Lorenzo said the arrested crewmen, motorboat and cargo were taken to the headquarters of the 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company and was later turned over to the BOC for proper disposition. (SunStar Zamboanga)