44K kilos of smuggled onions seized in Zamboanga

Authorities have intercepted a van and a watercraft that contained approximately 44,000 kilos of allegedly smuggled red onions in Zamboanga City on Monday, Jan. 23.

Photo: Philippine Navy, Naval Forces Western Mindanao

An Isuzu closed van and a watercraft marked as “MJ Marisa” were flagged by intelligence and raiding operatives of the Philippine Navy (PN), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Customs (BOC), and Joint Task Force (JTF) Zamboanga in Varadero de Cawit, Brgy. Cawit.

Ensign Chymee Grace Cagarra, acting public affairs officer of the PN Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM), said the closed van was loaded with 3,000 bags of smuggled red onions while the watercraft contained 8,000 mesh bags of the same items.

Cagarra said each bag weighed four kilos.

Photo: Philippine Navy, Naval Forces Western Mindanao

The operating teams also intercepted a watercraft marked as “ML Zhary” after it was found out that it was loaded with 300 drums of allegedly smuggled petroleum, oil, and lubricant products while sailing in the vicinity waters of Barangay Cawit.

“The involved vehicle, watercraft, and the smuggled items were held and still subjected for proper inventory before their turn-over to the appropriate agency for proper disposition,” Cagarra said.

Photo: Philippine Navy, Naval Forces Western Mindanao

Cagarra said the operation was part of the PN’s campaign to assist the government in eradicating smuggling of agricultural products and other items in the region.

The operation was conducted amid the skyrocketing prices of red onions due to the supply gap in the market.