P5.5-M smuggled cigarettes seized

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Area Police Command-Western Mindanao reported that its operatives arrested five people and seized some P5.5 million worth of smuggled cigarettes near an island village here early Saturday.

Area Police Command-Western Mindanao operations chief Col. Richard Verceles said that the suspects were on a motorboat when apprehended at around 6:32 a.m. Saturday near Barangay Tigtabon.

Verceles identified the five suspects as skipper Saham Sahisa, crew members Nasri Hussam Alnasri Mawadi, Usman Samla and Alkimar Mijan — all residents of Barangay Arena Blanco.

The 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company and Bureau of Customs personnel on patrol spotted the motorboat marked “Aljadi” after receiving information that a shipment of smuggled cigarettes is set to arrive from Jolo, the capital of Sulu province.

Col. Alexander Lorenzo, Zamboanga City Police Office director, said the motorboat was loaded with 158 master cases of assorted brand of cigarettes worth P5.53 million.

The five failed to present documents of the cargo they were transporting.

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