ZAMBOANGA CITY – Personnel of the Bureau of Customs intercepted a wooden vessel laden with smuggled cigarettes worth P25 million in the vicinity of Sta. Cruz Island here on Thursday, Dec. 8.
The BOC agents were conducting maritime patrol off Sta. Cruz Island when they spotted the wooden motorized vessel marked M/L Paris.
Upon inspection, customs agents found 707 cases of suspected smuggled cigarettes valued at P25-million.
The vessel came from Pangutaran, Sulu Province and was bound for Zamboanga City when it was intercepted.
Authorities held 11 crew members after they failed to provide documents legalizing the transport of the cargo.
They are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 10863, the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act of 2016.
The men were subjected to interrogation and profiling while the vessel and cargo were placed in the BOC custody.