ZAMBOANGA CITY – A fishing boat loaded with P17.3-million worth of smuggled cigarettes from Indonesia was intercepted Tuesday by operatives of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) off the coast of Karangdato Point, Karingalan Caluang, Sulu.
Segundo Barte Jr., Bureau of Customs (BoC) Zamboanga City district collector, said 360 cases of imported cigarettes were found on F/B Princess Arlyn which was intercepted by NFWM multi-purpose attack craft (BA494).
Barte said the smuggled cigarettes came from Indonesia and were supposed to be delivered to Cotabato City, the new market site for imported brands of cigarettes in Central Mindanao.
The watercraft is owned by a certain Hadji Wari of Zamboanga and was manned by a skipper and seven crew, according to the report of NFWM public affairs officer Lt. Chester Ross A. Cabaltera.
Barte said the naval patrol craft towed the fishing boat together with its crew onboard to the naval station in Zamboanga City.
The crew members were immediately brought to Camp Navarro General Hospital for a medical checkup.
The confiscated cigarettes were turned over to the BoC here.