ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities have arrested five crewmen of a motorboat they intercepted loaded with PHP7 million worth of smuggled cigarettes in this southern port city, an official said Wednesday.
Col. Richard Verceles, operations chief of the Area Police Command-Western Mindanao, said the joint police and Bureau of Customs (BOC) personnel intercepted the illegal shipment around 10 p.m. Tuesday while patrolling near Manalipa Island here.
Verceles identified the arrested crewmen of the motorboat named “Raptor” as Alzhimeir Dasad Daud, 39, the skipper; Arjhemer Jamad, 39; Nelson Dammang, 28; James Jaitulla, 31; and Abdul Ajim Aras, 43; all of Jolo town, Sulu province.
The crew failed to present documents of their cargo and revealed that the shipment came from Jolo and was bound for General Santos City.
Verceles said police-BOC arresting team seized some 200 master cases and 10 reams of assorted brands of smuggled cigarettes on the motorboat.
The arrested crew, motorboat, and smuggled cigarettes were taken to the headquarters of the 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile “Seaborne” Company for inventory and eventual turnover to the BOC.
Tuesday’s confiscation of smuggled cigarettes was the second time this month in this city.
On Monday, four suspects were arrested and some PHP140,000 worth of smuggled cigarettes were also seized in Barangay Kasanyangan here. (PNA)