GOVERNMENT operatives have seized a shipment of some P4.7 million worth of smuggled cigarettes and arrested eight people on Friday, October 8, 2021, near an island village east of Zamboanga City.

Police Colonel Rexmel Reyes, Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) director, said the shipment was around 1 p.m. Friday near Manalipa Island, Zamboanga City. The shipment is bound for Cotabato coming from Jolo, Sulu.

Reyes said the joint operatives of the 2nd City Mobile Force Company and Bureau of Customs (BOC) were on seaborne patrol when they spotted two motorboats loaded with 137 master cases of assorted smuggled cigarettes worth P4.7 million.

Reyes said one of the two motorboats named “Az-Zhahir” was manned by a five-man crew who were identified as follows: Sublaiman Kahal Hali, 22; Nurhusin Nadduha Habi, 28; Abdilsa Allus Ottok, 22; Nasri Habi Kayeh, 27; and Saniboy Kahal Habi, 17, all are residents of Lantawan, Basilan province.

Az-Zhahir was carrying 48 master cases of San Marino cigarettes, five master cases of union, and 34 master cases of Cannon cigarettes.

Reyes said the second motorboat named MF/V Mernalyn-2 was manned by a three-man crew, namely, Minajar Alaji Nawadi, 34; Kennedy Aliuddin Nawadi, 41; and Epik Nawadi Alli, all are residents of Talon-Talon village, Zamboanga City.

MF/V Mernalyn-2 was loaded with 34 master cases of Fort cigarettes and 16 master cases of Cannon cigarettes.

The ZCPO director said the confiscated cigarettes, motorboats and crewmen were turned over to the custody of the BOC for the filing of appropriate charges.

He said the arresting team together with the operatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency conducted visual inspection and paneling on the confiscated items for the possible presence of illegal drugs. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Source: SunStar (