P25 million illicit cigarettes, boats, seized in series of Minda operations

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ILLICIT cigarettes and the vessels used to transport them have been seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) during a series of anti-smuggling operations in Mindanao implemented by the Port of Davao.

Port of Davao Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Maita S. Acevedo, in a report to Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, said that in coordination with the Philippine Navy, Lake Sebu Police Office and the Police Regional Mobile Force Battalion, Region 12 (RMFB-12), operatives seized a total of P7.107 million worth of smuggled cigarettes in Sultan Kudarat and Bgy. Ned, Lake Sebu during separate operations last January 6 and January 10, 2024, respectively.

The vessel ‘MB Al Amanah’ used to transport the cigarettes in the Sultan Kudarat incident and valued at around P700,000.00 was also seized, Acevedo reported.

Acevedo added the two incidents followed the successful seizure also in Sultan Kudarat of illicit cigarettes worth more than P17 million last December 3, 2023, and the confiscation of the vessel ‘MB Queen Johara’ valued at P500,000.00.

The official further added that appropriate charges have also been filed against the yet-to-be named suspects behind the incidents.

In reaction, Rubio commended Acevedo and the operating units noting the results were “a testament to the vigilance and professionalism of our agency as we strive to create safer and more secure maritime borders.”

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