ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities apprehended two vessels suspected of smuggling 400,000 liters of fuel into the country during a maritime patrol on Wednesday, Jan. 25, in Turtle Islands, Tawi-Tawi.
Brig. Gen. Romeo Ricadio, Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi commander, said the Taganak police received information about a fuel smuggling attempt.
The 112th Marine Company and Taganak police proceeded to the area and spotted a foreign vessel, the Marnia Penang, and a local vessel marked Jaslyn Stacy Legazpi anchored in the sea of Lihiman Island.
Local boat captain Rodrigo Sarol said that their vessel linked up with the Marnia Penang to load 400,000 liters of diesel and is awaiting another 200,000 liters.
Authorities led the two vessels to the Taganak pier where they were turned over to the Philippine Coast Guard.
Initial investigation revealed that the foreign vessel sailed from Deojor, Malaysia with 16 crew while the local vessel from Navotas City was manned by 13 crew.
Both vessels were anchored in Lihiman Island for three days before they were apprehended.