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Philippine Standard Time:
23 June 2024, 23:42 PM

BOC Zamboanga intercepts P27.6 million worth of Smuggled Cigarettes

February 2, 2024

The Bureau of Customs – Port of Zamboanga (BOC-POZ) seized a motorized wooden craft worth P400,000.00 carrying illegally imported 482 master cases of cigarettes with an estimated market value of P27.6 million in Brgy. Baliwasan, Zamboanga City, on January 26, 2024.

The BOC Water Patrol Division (WPD), together with Enforcement and Security Service-Customs Police Division and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, led a maritime patrol operation which resulted in the apprehension and seizure a motor boat marked “FB JFM 2.” Upon inspection, the watercraft, also known as “jungkong,” was found to be loaded with afore-identified contraband.

Upon demand, the arrested nine (9) crew members failed to present pertinent documents to prove the legality of subject importation.

Thereafter, 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company assisted the Bureau in maneuvering the Jungkong and its cargo to their office address in Brgy. Baliwasan, where proper inventory was conducted.

Acting District Collector Arthur G. Sevilla Jr. commended the WPD for the successful maritime security in the area, contributing to the Bureau’s efforts to deter smugglers and prevent the entry of contraband as mandated by Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio.

The seized vessel and the master cases of cigarettes are now under the custody of the Bureau pending seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 1113(a) of Republic Act 10863, otherwise known as the “Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) of 2016, in relation to Section 117 and the Tobacco Exportation and Importation Rules and Regulations.

Likewise, the Bureau filed a smuggling case against the nine (9) crew members for violation of Section 1401 of the CMTA. They are presently detained at the Zamboanga City Police Station 11.

Commissioner Rubio acknowledged the diligence of the Port of Zamboanga headed by Acting District Collector Sevilla, customs operatives, and other patrol groups in the area, saying, “Your robust maritime security efforts reflect your firm commitment to your duties, and this apprehension is a demonstration of the vigilance you bring in safeguarding our coastal borders and protecting the nation from the hazards of smuggled tobacco products.”

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