ZAMBOANGA CITY — Personnel of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (Navforwem) have intercepted a shipment of smuggled cigarettes with an estimated value of P18 million off this city, the chief of Navforwem official said Wednesday.
Rear Adm. Erick Kagaoan, Navforwem commander, said the smuggled cigarette shipment was intercepted around 3 a.m. Wednesday in the seawaters off Bagong Calarian, this city.
Kagaoan said a Navy patrol craft was conducting seaborne patrol when it spotted a Jungkung-type motorboat named Azeez Express, with six crewmen aboard, steaming towards this city.
He said the motorboat was found to be loaded with some 600 master cases of cigarettes with the brand name “Bravo” when an on-board inspection was conducted.
In earlier interviews, Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr., Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Zamboanga district collector, said each master case of cigarettes is worth some PHP30,000 indicating the seized shipment is worth some PHP18 million.
Kagaoan said the boat was towed to the Ensign Majini Pier at the Naval Station Romulo Espaldon that houses the Navforwem headquarters in this city, while the seized shipment was turned over to Bureau of Customs police.
He said the Philippine Navy will remain vigilant in patrolling the seas to deter any unlawful activities in its area of operation. Teofilo Garcia, Jr / PNA – northboundasia.com