2 arrested, P7.5-M smuggled cigarettes seized in Zambo City

Operatives of the 2nd City Mobile Force “Seaborn” Company (2CMFC) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) have arrested two persons and seized some PHP7.5 million worth of smuggled cigarettes during a law enforcement operation in this city, a top police official said Friday.

Col. Rexmel Reyes, city police director, said the shipment of smuggled cigarettes was intercepted around 10 p.m. Thursday in Barangay Sinunuc.

Arrested were Nadzpin Benjamin, 19, and Benhar Mundih, 32, of Lugus and Tapul towns in Sulu, respectively.

Reyes said that the 2CMFC and BOC operatives launched an anti-smuggling operation after receiving reliable information that a shipment of smuggled cigarettes is set to arrive Thursday evening in this city from Jolo, Sulu.

“The swift action of the operating units speaks well of their dedication and commitment to the fight against smuggling, criminality, and other lawlessness,” he said in a statement.

He said the joint team intercepted a motorboat named MJ/DS Cruiser loaded with some 214 master cases and 20 reams of Fort White cigarettes worth PHP7.5 million in Barangay Sinunuc, west of this city.

The suspects failed to present pertinent documents relative to the shipment of cigarettes, Reyes said.

As part of the operational procedure, he said personnel from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency inspected the confiscated cigarettes upon arrival at the 2CMFC headquarters.

The confiscated cigarettes, motorboat, and two arrested crewmen were turned over to the custody of the BOC for proper disposition.

The confiscation of the cigarette contraband on Thursday evening was the first smuggling-related arrest this month.

Last month, the police and BOC operatives seized a total of over PHP18 million worth of smuggled cigarettes in separate law enforcement operations in this city.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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