A truck loaded with smuggled cigarettes worth P3.5 million was intercepted during a quarantine control checkpoint in Lanao del Sur, the Bureau of Customs said Thursday.
The truck was loaded with 68 master cases of San Marino cigarettes, the Port of Cagayan de Oro said. It was intercepted in Barangay Pawak, Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur on November 25.
According to the bureau, the smuggled cigarettes were discovered during a routine quarantine control checkpoint where the arrested suspects onboard the wing van failed to present their quarantine pass and medical certificates.
Authorities then inspected the vehicle, revealing the carriage of cigarettes.
The local police then informed the Port of Cagayan de Oro Enforcement and Security Services (ESS) which later confirmed that the cigarettes onboard the van were “illegally imported for failure to present the import permit and other necessary documents.”
According to SP/Capt. Abdila Maulana Jr., district commander of ESS, they have already initiated close coordination with PNP beforehand. They have also received an intelligence report that smuggled cigarettes will be transported from Zamboanga to some parts of Lanao del Sur prior to the interception of the vehicle.
The local police has turned-over to the Bureau of Customs the wing van and the 68 master cases containing 3,400 reams of cigarettes.
District Collector John Simon has already issued a warrant of seizure and detention against the smuggled goods for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
The illicit cigarettes, on the other hand, will be disposed pending court order, Simon said.