THE Bureau of Customs yesterday announced that another huge batch of smuggled cigarettes with an estimated cost of P245.8 million were also destroyed by the collection district of Zamboanga, some two weeks ago.
Port of Zamboanga district collector, Atty. Segundo Barte, in a belated report to customs commissioner, Rey Leonardo Guerrero, said the destruction of the illicit cigarettes was done at the facilities of Fast Carco Logistics in Baliwasan, Zamboanga City last May 5, witnessed by other local enforcement units and local officials.
The destruction has now brought the total amount of smuggled cigarettes ordered destroyed by Guerrero to more than P355 million.
Guerrero personally witnessed the destruction last May 11 of illicit cigarettes worth more than P109 million at the Port of Manila.
In his report, Barte said the confiscated cigarettes of various brands were crushed by a 40-ton forklift after being thoroughly drenched first with high-pressure water.
Barte said the destruction is pursuant to the standing instruction of Guerrero to destroy all confiscated cigarettes once a final ruling on their forfeiture has been rendered.
The official also commended the support of local officials headed by Mayor Beng Climaco and city councilor Josephine Pareja, who provided the equipment, dump trucks and the access to the local sanitary landfill where the pulped cigarettes were eventually brought for final disposal.