ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities have arrested five people and seized some PHP5.5 million worth of smuggled cigarettes near an island village here early Saturday.
Col. Richard Verceles, operations chief of the Area Police Command-Western Mindanao, said the suspects were on a motorboat when apprehended at around 6:32 a.m. Saturday near Barangay Tigtabon.
Verceles identified the five suspects as skipper Saham Sahisa, 40; and his crew, Nasri Hussam, 40; Alnasri Mawadi, 25; Usman Samla, 51; and, Alkimar Mijan, 25, all residents of Barangay Arena Blanco.
The 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company (2ZCMFC) and Bureau of Customs personnel on patrol spotted the motorboat marked “Aljadi” after receiving information that a shipment of smuggled cigarettes is set to arrive from Jolo, the capital of Sulu province.
Col. Alexander Lorenzo, Zamboanga City Police Office director, said the motorboat was loaded with 158 master cases of assorted brand of cigarettes worth PHP5.53 million.
The five failed to present documents of the cargo they were transporting.
They were then placed under the custody of the 2ZCMFC for documentation and will be turned over to Customs for proper disposition. (PNA)