SOME P11.2 million worth of assorted smuggled cigarettes were seized by government authorities near an island east of this city, the police reported Friday, August 6, 2021.

Police Brigadier General Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula director, said the shipment of smuggled cigarettes was seized around 3:30 a.m. Thursday, August 5, east of Tumalutap Island, one of the 11 islands east of Zamboanga City.

Ylagan said the joint team of the 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company (2ZCMFC) and Bureau of Customs (BOC) operatives were conducting seaborne patrol when they chanced upon two wooden watercrafts locally known as “Jungkong,” namely, F/B Afiyah Gladiator and F/B Five Sisters.

Ylagan said that F/B Afiyah Gladiator, skippered by Albasir Akarab, 33, with three crewmen, was found loaded with 152 master cases of assorted smuggled cigarettes consisting of the following: 10 master cases of Premiex Red; 10 master cases of Premiex White; 60 master cases of Astro Red; 24 master cases of Cannon Menthol; 20 master cases of Fort Menthol; 20 master cases of Champion Menthol; and eight master cases of Champion Red.

Akarab’s crew were identified as Albasir Sakib, 30; Idris Kadaffi Masarani, 42; and, Sahaddi Lakibul, 42.

The F/B Five Sisters, slippered by Haydil Sarapuddin, 24, with a seven-man crew, was loaded with 169 master cases of assorted smuggled cigarettes which consist of the following: 27 master cases of Fort Menthol, 42 master cases of Astro Red, 79 master cases of Champion Menthol and 21 Master cases of San Marino Black Menthol.

Sarapuddin’s crew were identified as the following: Al-Shahid Bahang Adjad, 33; Amilussin Susulan, 22; Musa Julapli, 22; Alnibar Baladji, 20; Al Khalid Nurhasan Marrack, 36; Zuercar Atibing, 30.

Ylagan said the two watercrafts were carrying a total of 321 master cases of assorted smuggled cigarettes with an estimated market value of P11,235,000.

Ylagan said the two watercrafts were sailing to Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay province coming from Jolo, Sulu when intercepted near Tumalutap Island.

He said that the 2ZCMFC, BOC together with the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted visual inspection and paneling on the confiscated items.

He said the two watercrafts, cigarettes and crewmen were turned over to the custody of BOC for proper disposition.

The confiscation Thursday of the P11.2 million shipment came a day after the 2ZCMFC and BOC operatives have seized some P4.5 million worth of smuggled cigarettes also near Tumalutap Island.

The shipment they seized Wednesday came from Jolo, Sulu and bound to this city. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Source: SunStar (