By Betheena Kae Unite
More than a hundred master cases of smuggled cigarettes worth P4.2 million were recently intercepted while it was being transported by a truck in Tugbungan, Zamboanga City, the Bureau of Customs said.
A total of 143 master cases and 40 reams of Bravo Red Cigarettes were uncovered inside a panel truck with temporary plate no. 090104 Tuesday on Urban Poor Drive, Tugbungan. The shipment was intercepted and seized by a team from the Port of Zamboanga and the Zamboanga Police.
The smuggled cigarettes and the vehicle, where the goods were loaded, were then turned over to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for inventory and proper disposition while the suspects involved in the illegal activity were turned over to Zamboanga Police Office Station 06 for investigation and for filing of possible charges.
A warrant of seizure and detention was issued against the shipment for violation of Executive Order No. 245 “Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exportation and Importation of Tobacco and Tobacco Products” and Sections 1113 (a), (f), (k) and subparagraph (1) and (5) and 117 of R.A 10863 also known as the “Customs Modernization and Tariff Act of 2016.
Port of Zamboanga District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr. said that the apprehension was due to more intensified anti-smuggling operations of the bureau in the southern part of the country where smugglers bring in their undocumented shipments through the Philippine backdoor.