P20-M smuggled cigarettes destroyed in Zamboanga City

By Betheena Unite

About 500 cases of smuggled cigarettes worth P20 million were destroyed in Zamboanga City Monday, two days after the shipment was intercepted.

The 500 cases of cigarettes were intercepted in Zamboanga City by joint government forces over the weekend, the Bureau of Customs said.

Accordding to the bureau, the shipment was loaded in an elf truck and was intercepted at the Danny Udin Salasain Wharf Compound, Arena Blanco, Zamboanga City.

A team from Philippine Marines and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service discovered the smuggled shipment.

Due to absence of pertinent documents supporting the shipment, the cigarettes were confiscated amd were put under the custody of the Customs Zamboanga for proper inventory.

A Warrant of Seizure and Detention was then issued against the shipment due to the absence of National Tobacco Administration (NTA) permit for violation of Executive Order No. 245 “Amended Rules & Regulations Governing the Exportation and Importation of Tobacco and Tobacco Products” and Section 117 of RA 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

Its condemnation was immediately ordered.

Marine, Customs, and Coast Guard personnel had manually destroyed the smuggled cigarettes yesterday.

The bureau, however, did not disclose the persons behind the shipment and its origin.