ANTI-SMUGGLING. Police and the Bureau of Customs score anew in their anti-smuggling campaign as they arrest two suspects and seize PHP700,000 worth of smuggled cigarettes in Barangay San Roque, Zamboanga City, on Thursday (Sept. 22, 2022). The smuggled cigarettes were apprehended in a checkpoint operation following a tipoff by a resident. (Photo courtesy of ZCPO)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities scored anew in their anti-smuggling campaign after arresting two suspects and seized some PHP700,000 worth of illegal cigarettes in this city Thursday.

Col. Alexander Lorenzo, Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) director, said suspects Baning Salih, 42, and Brazil Muhis Djahirin, 38, were arrested around 6 a.m. in Sitio Talungon, Barangay San Roque here.

They were collared when operatives of the ZCPO’s Station 7 and Bureau of Customs (BOC) operatives intercepted their van loaded with contraband at a checkpoint.

“While our police officers were manning the checkpoint, the Isuzu Traviz van driven by Mudjahirin passed by,” Lorenzo said.

Lorenzo said authorities managed to set up a checkpoint after an informant reported that a vehicle loaded with smuggled cigarettes would pass by the area.

The suspects' van was found loaded with some 20 master cases of cigarettes transported sans any documents.

Thursday’s confiscation of smuggled cigarettes was the third for this week in this city.

The first was on Tuesday wherein three persons were arrested and some PHP1.2 million worth of smuggled cigarettes were seized.

On Wednesday, more than PHP1 million worth of smuggled cigarettes were also apprehended at the shore of Barangay Maasin. (PNA)