P1.2-M worth of smuggled cigarettes seized in Port of Zamboanga
Marje Pelayo • July 12, 2019 • 1280
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — A total of 2,125 reams of smuggled cigarettes amounting to P1.2 million were confiscated at the port of Zamboanga on Wednesday (July 10).
According to the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the illegal shipments were uncovered on board three passenger vessels: MV Mama Mia, MV Mary Joy 1 and MV Asian Stars, all from Jolo, Sulu.
Members of the BOC Enforcement and Security Service (BOC-ESS) and the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) launched the operation with assistance from the Naval Intelligence and Security Group – Western Mindanao and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
The latest seizure caused concern for the BOC noting the prevalence of cigarette smuggling in the area, according to Zamboanga District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte.
The BOC cited that the agency already hauled P60 million worth of smuggled cigarettes just between April and June this year.
Nevertheless, Barte stressed that the Bureau will continue its fervent effort to fight illicit cigarette trade in cooperation with concerned government agencies. The seized cigarettes were already turned over to the BOC for immediate destruction
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday (November 5) seized P4.2 million worth of smuggled cigarettes at Urban Poor Drive, Tugbungan, Zamboanga City.
The items consisting of 143 master cases and 40 reams of Bravo Red Cigarettes from Malaysia, were discovered aboard a panel truck with temporary plate No. 090104.
The smuggled cigarettes and the truck were immediately turned over to the BOC for inventory and proper disposition.
Meanwhile, the suspects involved were turned over to Zamboanga Police Office Station 06 for investigation and for filing of possible charges.
District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr. said in a statement that the agency’s intensified anti-smuggling operations under the marching orders of BOC Commissioner Rey Guerrero mainly contributed to the apprehension.
Barte said seizure of fake and smuggled products will protect the public from possible health risks these items pose.
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday reiterated that food imports such as meat and pork products must first be inspected and cleared before its release.
The BOC made the statement amid government efforts to prevent entry of food products that may contain diseases, particularly the African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country.
The bureau said that RepublicAct 10611 or the Food Safety Act of 2013 stipulates that “imported foods shall undergo cargo inspection and clearance procedures by the DA (Department of Agriculture) and the DOH (Department of Health) at the first port of entry to determine compliance with national regulations.”
The BOC added that this inspection will always be conducted prior to assessment for tariff and other charges.
To further ensure the safety of the public, the BOC said that boarding formalities on arriving vessels at any port entry are strictly conducted by the bureau and the Quarantine Officers of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
According to BOC Spokesperson and Assistant Commissioner Atty. Vincent Philip Maronilla, all imported agricultural goods contained in reefer containers undergo initial examination by the DA.
These will then be inspected by the BAI, BPI and BFAR at their accredited warehouses.
“In case of meat products, reefer container is sealed by BAI prior to the release of said imports from the BOC. The sealed reefer container will be further examined 100% by the National Meat Inspection Service in its accredited storage warehouse,” the statement read.
BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero emphasized that the bureau is prompt in acting against derogatory reports of shipments that may contain smuggled goods and other contraband and is serious in enforcing the law and the proper procedures against imported pork and meat products from ASF-hit countries.
Joint operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), police and military seized P3.4 million worth of shabu and arrested two suspects in a buy-bust operation in Zamboanga City on Sunday (November 3).
Authorities identified the suspects as Alner Andao and Almigar Jimla of Barangay Ayala.
Seized from them were 10 sachets of suspected shabu weighing half a kilo; three cellphones; buy-bust money and the vehicle used in the transaction.
The PDEA said an informant alerted them of the suspects’ illegal activities which prompted the agency to immediately plan and execute said operation.
“Mayroon tayong confidential informant nagsumbong sa atin na mayroong pwedeng magbenta ng half kilo ng shabu. So dahil trabaho natin ito, eventually nag-assign tayo ng agent as undercover,” said PDEA agent, Jury Rocamora.
Andao and Jimla will be facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. — CAL (With reports from Dante Amento)
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