BOC to destroy over P395M worth of smuggled cigarettes

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is set to destroy on Tuesday, Dec. 13, more than P395 million worth of cigarettes that were confiscated in a series of anti-smuggling operations in the western part of Mindanao.

BOC Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz said it will be the second condemnation schedule of smuggled cigarettes for this year, the first was in May when more than P110 million worth of smuggled cigarettes were destroyed.

photo: BOC

He said the destruction of more than 11,219 master cases of cigarettes will be held in Pavillion, Dao in Pagadian City in a customs-rented warehouse in Brgy. Baliwasan in Zamboanga City.

"The contrabands were seized during separate anti-smuggling operations in Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi last May to November 2022," said Ruiz.

The cigarettes will be drenched in water and repeatedly crushed by payloader equipment in the presence of all partner agencies. These will then be disposed of in the sanitary landfill.

District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr. said the destruction is a strong message against the smugglers as he emphasized that the confiscation of more than P500 million worth of smuggled cigarettes this year is but proof of good working relationship with other agencies.

He said the successful operations were an offshoot of the coordination of BOC with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Marines, the Philippine Navy, the National Bureau of Investigation, Joint Task Force Zamboanga, the Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the local government unit.

"The Task Force ensures efficient inter-agency coordination for expeditious actions against smugglers," said Barte.