THE Intelligence Group of the Bureau of Customs (IG-BOC) continues to make headway in its anti-smuggling campaign with the apprehension of smuggled cigarettes worth more than P180 million in Mindanao and Batangas.
IG deputy commissioner Ranier Ramiro said first to be apprehended last November 6 was a shipment of cigarettes from Indonesia bound for Indanan, Sulu.
Ramiro said in partnership with the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), the Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies, the group managed to intercept the ‘M/V Nur 1’ in the vicinity of Taganak island, Tawi-tawi.
After boarding and inspection, Ramiro said the team found 3,000 boxes of cigarettes worth P120 million.
The seized contraband has since been brought to the Port of Zamboanga for further inventory and investigation, the official added.
At the Port of Batangas, Ramiro said a trader, is now also facing investigation after another shipment of cigarettes on board 3 container vans and declared as “disposable plastic containers” from China, were discovered by customs authorities.
Ramiro identified the erring consignee as ‘O Block Hardware Trading.’
Ramiro said the initial X-ray scanning of one of the containers yielded suspicious images that resulted to the 100-percent examination of the shipment.
He placed the amount of the contraband at more than P60 million.
In both instances, Ramiro said appropriate criminal charges are now being prepared against those behind the smuggling attempt.