By Liza Soriano
MANILA — Smuggled onions worth P18.6 million were found in a ship in Zamboanga City by the Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Zamboanga (POZ) last week.
The port said in a statement on Tuesday that on January 25, during a maritime patrol operation in Barangay Ayala, Zamboanga City, it had intercepted 5,611 mesh bags of imported red onions with an estimated market value of P8.5 million and 2,249 mesh bags of imported white onions valued at P10.1 million.
The onions, which are supposedly from Taganak in the Tawi-Tawi province, are loaded into a ship with the marking “MV Princess Nurdisza” and are headed for Barangay Baliwasan.
The onions were transported to the Department of Agriculture’s Research Center in Barangay Talisayan for safekeeping.
According to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s order to stop agricultural smuggling in the nation, Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz’s aggressive campaign to implement stricter border control measures through ongoing maritime patrol operations in western Mindanao was responsible for the operations’ success.