By Ariel Fernandez
Smuggled cigarettes with an estimated value of more than P8 million was intercepted April 14 by joint operations of Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Zamboanga Operatives, in coordination with the Naval Intelligence and Security Group-Western Mindanao (NISG-WM), and Naval Special Operating Unit (NAVSOU).
The assorted smuggled cigarettes was onboard MJ NR 4 in Brgy. Lower Calarian, Zamboanga City.
The operation stemmed from an information received that a motor jungkung is loaded with alleged smuggled cigarettes from Jolo, Sulu anchored within the vicinity of Stanvac Lower Calarian, Zamboanga City.
Upon inspection of the subject vessel, the operatives discovered more or less 300 master cases of smuggled Bravo, Fort, Tradition, LS, Astro cigarettes.
The shipment will be subjected to issuance of Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) for lack of permit from the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) and for violation of Executive Order No. 245 (Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exportation and Importation of Tobacco and Tobacco Products), and Section 117 of the Republic Act No. 10863 (Customs Modernization and Tariff Act) in relation to Section 1113 paragraphs F and G thereof.
District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte, Jr. assures the public that BOC Zamboanga will continue to intensify its campaign against smuggled cigarettes alongside the continuing efforts against COVID-19 in the city.