By Nonoy Lacson
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) here destroyed 514 rims of imported cigarettes with an estimated market value of P300,000, and which were seized last week from a vessel serving the Zamboanga-Jolo, Sulu route.
BOC Zamboanga City District Collector Segundo Barte, Jr., said he ordered the destruction of the seized contraband to avoid suspicion of pilferage by operatives of the BOC.
Barte said the destruction of the seized cigarettes “will also send (smugglers) a strong signal that under my watch, all contraband bound for the city will be apprehended and owners will be jailed if we can identify them.”
The contraband was concealed inside a water drum to avoid detection by the authorities.
However, BOC policemen saw the drum with the contraband inside, they immediately ordered the seizure of the imported cigarettes.