ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Authorities have arrested three suspects and seized more than PHP2 million worth of smuggled cigarettes in an anti-smuggling operation here, a top police official said Monday.

Brig. Gen. Neil Alinsañgan, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula (PRO-9) director, said Jaybert Napolereyes, Jason Magsayo and Alphine Manood were arrested around 4:45 a.m. Sunday at a private wharf in Barangay Baliwasan.

Alinsañgan said the three failed to present documents while supervising the stockpiling of the items at the private wharf.

Seized from them were 58 master cases of cigarettes with the brand name “Lando” worth PHP2,030,000.

The suspects and the contraband were turned over to the custody of the Bureau of Customs.

Sunday’s confiscation of smuggled cigarettes was the fifth authorities have seized this month alone in the city.

On Nov. 2, smuggled cigarettes worth PHP7.2 million were seized in Barangay Baliwasan.

The incident was followed by a Nov. 7 seizure of smuggled cigarettes worth PHP1.3 million in Barangay Santa Maria.

On Nov. 23, some PHP2.5 million worth of cigarette contraband was also confiscated near R.T. Lim Boulevard.

Two days after, authorities scored their biggest haul with the confiscation of PHP52.8 million worth of illegal cigarettes in the waters of Barangay Labuan. (PNA)