MORE SEIZURE. A policeman inspects a motorboat loaded with PHP5.6 million worth of smuggled cigarettes intercepted Wednesday night (June 22, 2022) off Indanan, Sulu. The operation came as the Area Police Command-Western Mindanao says it has intensified its anti-smuggling campaign. (Photo courtesy of APC-WM)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The police scored anew in its anti-smuggling campaign as they seized some P5.6 million worth of smuggled cigarettes in the province of Sulu, an official said Thursday.

Col. Richard Verceles, operations chief of the Area Police Command-Western Mindanao (APC-WM), said three persons were arrested when their motorboat was intercepted with smuggled cigarettes around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday off Indanan, Sulu.

Verceles identified the suspects as Alman Hassan, the boat skipper, and crew members Rajim Alih and Mudzmar Habibul Ajijul.

A police team led by the Sulu Maritime Police Station (SMPS) launched the anti-smuggling campaign after they received information that a motorboat was transporting smuggled cigarettes, the police official said.

Seized from the suspects' motorboat were 189 master cases of assorted smuggled cigarettes.

On Tuesday night, a team of police and Bureau of Customs operatives also arrested 10 people and seized some PHP9.6 million worth of smuggled cigarettes near Manalipa Island east of this city.

The contraband came from Jolo, Sulu and was bound for Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur. (PNA)