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18 May 2024, 07:53 AM

BOC Zamboanga Destroys P1.43-B worth of Smuggled Cigarettes

May 1, 2023

The Bureau of Customs Port of Zamboanga (BOC-POZ) destroyed a total of 19,419 cases and 667 reams of smuggled cigarettes on 28 April 2023. The destruction took place in a Customs-rented warehouse in Barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga City.

Alongside representatives from the Commission on Audit, the local government unit, operating units from partner agencies, and other stakeholders, the BOC condemned the seized cigarettes worth PHP 1,439,586,900.

The cigarettes were apprehended during various anti-smuggling operations in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi in the first quarter of this year.

POZ Acting District Collector Engr. Arthur G. Sevilla, Jr., reported that this is the largest condemnation of seized cigarettes in the Port of Zamboanga, following the major apprehension of a warehouse full of cigarettes in Indanan, Sulu, that was spearheaded by Intelligence Group (IG) Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy and the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Director Verne Enciso back in March.

The condemned master cases of cigarettes were seized for violating Section 117 of R.A. 10863 or the “Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) of 2016 in relation to Executive Order Number 245 entitled “Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exportation and Importation of Leaf Tobacco and Tobacco Products.”

With the firm directive of BOC Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio to curb smuggling in all forms, BOC-POZ continues to implement intensified anti-smuggling operations and remains steadfast in maintaining close coordination and collaboration with law enforcement agencies.

“The BOC persistently exerts effort to curb smuggling in all forms. Condemnations and destruction of these smuggled items, along with filing of appropriate criminal charges, will continue to deter the citizenry from committing criminal acts of smuggling,” said Commissioner Rubio.

The condemnation of seized goods by the BOC-POZ is consistent with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s standing order to implement anti-smuggling and border control measures in the country.

The cigarettes were drenched in water and repeatedly crushed by payloader equipment in the presence of all partner agencies and stakeholders. The condemned cigarettes will be transported and disposed of in the sanitary landfill.

Republic of the Philippines

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