P13M smuggled cigarettes seized

The cargo truck was intercepted by the authorities while delivering the smuggled cigarettes coming from Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte going to Dumingag Public Market in Zamboanga del Sur

Photo courtesy of Area Police Command-Western Mindanao

ZAMBOANGA CITY — Authorities seized about 297 master cases of assorted brands of smuggled cigarettes worth P13.365 million and arrested eight persons who were allegedly transporting the contraband in three separate operations conducted in the Zamboanga Peninsula region or region.

According to Bureau of Customs Zamboanga City district collector Segundo Barte Jr., police and BoC operatives conducted intelligence-driven operations that led to the seizure of the contraband.

He narrated that authorities intercepted a cargo truck loaded with 73 master cases of smuggled cigarettes worth P3.285 million in Barangay Licabang, Dumingag in Zamboanga del on Thursday.

The cargo truck came from Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte going to Dumingag Public Market in Zamboanga del Sur.

Meantime, another team from the BoC and local authorities intercepted another cargo truck loaded with 20 master cases of assorted smuggled cigarettes worth P900,000 in Rizal Avenue, Barangay Makugihon in Molave town in Zamboanga del Sur on Wednesday.

The contraband was placed inside boxes of dried fish cargoes to avoid detection from the authorities while police apprehended three persons identified as Jason Utlang, the truck driver, truck helper Alfadzre Sumaga and a minor.

They were held for questioning after they failed to present documents allowing them to transport the tobacco leave products.

Another operation yielded 204 master cases of smuggled cigarettes worth P9.18 million in Sitio Garing-Garing, Barangay Tiayon, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay on Monday.

According to Barte, most of the smuggled cigarettes carry the brands of Cannon, Fort, Champion, San Marino, Tradition and Absolute Famous.

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