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Smuggled cigarettes worth an estimated P10.8 million were seized by BOC, PNP, and PDEA in Zamboanga del Sur | Photo from BOC- Zamboanga

Smuggled cigarettes worth an estimated P10.8 million were seized off the coast of Zamboanga del Sur by operatives of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Philippine National Police, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Through a maritime patrol off Tabina, Zamboanga del Sur on October 9, 2020, the anti-smuggling team intercepted one motorized banca marked as FB Normay and owned by a certain individual from Pangdan, Kaluwa, Sulu.

The banca was loaded with more than 300 master cases of assorted smuggled cigarettes with brands such as Fort, New Far, San Marino, Royal, and Astro for delivery to a certain “Asul” in Pagadian City.

The apprehension, led by BOC’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service and Enforcement and Security Service, followed information from a concerned citizen about cigarettes being smuggled on board a fishing boat bound for Pagadian City.

BOC-Zamboanga acting district collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte, Jr. noted this is the first time such quantity of smuggled cigarettes was seized aboard a wooden motorized banca in Pagadian City.

The shipment will be issued a warrant of seizure and detention for lack of permit from the National Tobacco Administration and for violating Executive Order No. 245 (Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exportation and Importation of Tobacco and Tobacco Products) and Section 117 of the Republic Act No. 10863 (Customs Modernization and Tariff Act).

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