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17 June 2024, 03:17 AM

BOC-Zamboanga Intercepts Smuggled Cigarettes worth P24.6M

October 27, 2023

The Bureau of Customs-Port of Zamboanga (BOC-POZ), through its Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), in coordination with the 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company “Seaborne”, confiscated P24.6 million worth of smuggled cigarettes along the waters off Brgy. Sinunuc, Zamboanga City, on October 20, 2023.

In its effort to intensify border control against smuggling, the team conducted a joint maritime patrol operation, leading to the interception of a motorized wooden watercraft marked “MB UTOH MAT MAT”, loaded with boxes of cigarettes.

Upon closer inspection, the five (5) crew members disclosed that the vessel came from Jolo, Sulu, and was bound for Zamboanga City. However, the crew failed to provide documents proving the lawful importation of said cargo.

An inventory conducted by the BOC on October 23, 2023 revealed that the vessel was carrying 423 master cases of cigarettes of various brands such as President and Cannon Menthol.

Acting District Collector, Arthur G. Sevilla Jr. emphasized that the Port of Zamboanga closely coordinated with other operating units in conducting maritime patrol operations pursuant to the directive of Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio to improve strategies in BOC’s fight against the illicit cigarette trade.

The subject vessel and imported master cases of cigarettes were ordered seized and currently detained for violation of Section 1113 (a) of R.A. 10863, otherwise known as the “Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) of 2016″, in relation to Section 117 and “Tobacco Exportation and Importation Rules and Regulations”.

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