ZAMBOANGA CITY – Combined police and Bureau of Customs (BOC) operatives have intercepted a shipment of more than PHP5 million worth of smuggled cigarettes and arrested seven persons, a top police official said Monday.
Brig. Gen. Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, Police Regional Office-9 director, said the shipment was intercepted around 3 a.m. Saturday southwest of Sta. Cruz Island, this city.
Ylagan said the joint team of the 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company (2ZCMFC) and BOC conducted a seaborne patrol following information that a shipment of smuggled cigarettes is set to arrive early Saturday coming from Sulu province.
Ylagan said the team, while on patrol, chanced upon a “jungkong” type of watercraft marked MJ Al-Hafidz manned by a seven-man crew and loaded with some 145 master cases of undocumented cigarettes worth PHP5,075,000.
He identified the arrested crew as Nurullaji Alhari, the skipper; Annie Jammang, 27; Matli Hajirin, 36; Jamar Alhari, 27; Mahadel Munong, 31; Abdulhalik Mangkabong, 50; and, Sakur Jarani, all residents of Omar, Sulu.
He said the confiscated smuggled cigarettes consisted of 40 Champion black; 15 Fort white; 30 Delta white; 10 Astro red; and, 50 of Eight red. These were turned over to the BOC.
The confiscation last Saturday was the second this month. The first was on June 10 where some PHP6.3 million worth of smuggled cigarettes were also seized and four persons arrested. (PNA)