ANTI-SMUGGLING. Police and Bureau of Customs personnel arrest two persons and seize more than PHP1 million worth of smuggled cigarettes Tuesday (Aug. 9, 2022) off Zamboanga City. The suspects and the contraband were turned over to the BOC for proper disposition. (Photo courtesy of APC-WM)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities apprehended on Tuesday a motorboat with a two-man crew and seized more than PHP1 million worth of smuggled cigarettes off this southern port city.

Colonel Richard Verceles, operations chief of the Area Police Command-Western Mindanao (APC-WM), said the illegal shipment was seized by joint police and Bureau of Customs (BOC) personnel around 3 a.m. at the mangrove area of Barangay Talon-Talon.

Arrested were Victor Hasan, 45, and Lisang Junaidi, 18, both of Barangay Kasanyangan here.

Verceles said the joint team was conducting an intelligence-driven anti-smuggling operation at sea when they intercepted the motorboat, where 30 master cases of Astro smuggled cigarettes worth over PHP1 million were found.

The arrested suspects and seized evidence were turned over to the custody of the BOC.

The confiscation came three days after the APC-WM, together with the Department of Health and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, launched Operations Plan (Oplan) Mega Shopper, a campaign against the sale of smuggled cigarettes. (PNA)