P750k worth of smuggled cigarettes seized in Cagayan de Oro; suspect eludes arrest

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The police operatives confiscated a total of P750,000 worth of smuggled cigarettes during an intel-driven police operation at Zone 3, Barangay Bulua in this city on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Authorities place a total of P750,000 worth of smuggled cigarettes inside a jeep after they confiscated the said products from an at-large suspect during an intel-driven police operation at Zone 3, Barangay Bulua in this city on Wednesday, February 1. (Photo courtesy of Police Regional Office 10)

In a report from the Police Regional Office of Northern Mindanao (PRO-10), the suspect was identified as Vhan Maddun Tammany, who managed to elude arrest.

The Regional Special Operations Unit (RSOU) 10 received an information pertaining to the said suspect selling assorted brands of smuggled cigarettes, prompting the RSOU-10 together with the other agency and police units to conduct a buy-bust operation.

“However, the suspect managed to elude arrest after becoming aware of the presence of law enforcement units when the undercover officer issued the pre-arranged signal,” the police report said.

During the operation, the undercover officer positively bought smuggled cigarettes from the suspect worth P4,000, said Maj. Joann Navarro, PRO-10 spokesperson, in a phone interview on Thursday, Feb. 2.

The bulk of smuggled cigarettes were later discovered in a nearby area where the police conducted the operation.

“Sa iyang lugar, naay balay. Ang likod dayon anaa nay room something. Murag dinha nipaingon ug dira ra pud ni-exit. (In his place, there’s a house. And behind that, there’s a room something. went there and exited),” Navarro said.

As of this writing, the police were still investigating to obtain further details of Tammany and to determine if the said area is owned or rented by the suspect.

Among the confiscated smuggled products were 2M-Black Menthol, 2M-Red Blend, San Diego, Berlin, and Fort with a total of 52 Master Cases, three reams and seven packs which were all turned over to the Regional Investigation Division of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Revenue Region No. 16.

A case for violation of the Republic Act No. 11346 under Section 263 will be filed against the at-large suspect.

Brig. Gen. Lawrence Coop, PRO-10 regional director, in a statement, stressed that the regional operatives are now conducting a follow-up operation to locate the whereabouts of the suspect.

“We will not stop until we have arrested the suspect. He has done something illegal and we do not tolerate any kind of act that is unlawful,” Coop said.

The regional director urged businesspeople to always secure the necessary documents in order to be not liable to the law.