Zamboanga Peninsula cops seize P31.5-M smuggled cigarettes

Zamboanga Peninsula.
Zamboanga Peninsula.File photo

AUTHORITIES have arrested seven persons and seized P31.5 million worth of smuggled cigarettes in three separate law enforcement operations in Zamboanga Peninsula, the police said Thursday, June 27, 2024.

Police Brigadier General Bowenn Joey Masauding, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula director, said the biggest hauls of smuggled cigarettes happened in Zamboanga City.

Masauding said that personnel of the 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company (2ZCMFC) seized some P19.8 million worth of smuggled cigarettes and arrested seven persons around 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, in the vicinity of Sinunuc Island, Zamboanga City.

The personnel of the 2ZCMFC were conducting seaborne patrol when they chanced upon a motorboat with seven crewmen aboard.

Masauding said the 2ZCMFC personnel found that the motorboat was loaded with 346 master cases of cigarettes worth P19.8 million when they inspected the watercraft.

The crewmen were arrested while the cigarettes were seized when they failed to present documents of their cargo.

The crewmen and confiscated smuggled cigarettes were brought to the Zamboanga City Police Station 4 and were turned over to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for documentation and proper disposition.

Around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, policemen seized some P11.2 million worth of smuggled cigarettes from a warehouse in Purok 5, Parfamco Drive, Patalon village, Zamboanga City.

The confiscated smuggled cigarettes were taken to the Zamboanga City Police Station 10 and were turned over to the BOC.

Meanwhile, some P535,984 worth of untaxed cigarettes were seized by authorities around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at different business establishments in Poblacion village, Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur.

The police said the cigarettes were untaxed since they had no tax stamp from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

The police said the packs of cigarettes have no graphic health warning, which is in violation of a municipal ordinance.

The cigarettes confiscated during the conduct of inspection were brought to the municipal police station of Midsalip for proper disposition. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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