SMUGGLED CIGARETTES. Police officers seize some PHP3 million worth of smuggled cigarettes Tuesday (Dec. 6, 2022) near a shipyard in Barangay Cawit, Zamboanga City. No one was arrested as the supposed owner and workers hauling the contraband fled upon sensing the arrival of police officers. (Photo courtesy of ZCPO)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) operatives seized some PHP3 million worth of smuggled cigarettes in an operation near a shipyard here, an official said Wednesday.

Col. Alexander Lorenzo, ZCPO director, said no one was arrested as the supposed owner and workers hauling the contraband fled upon sensing the arrival of police officers.

Lorenzo said at least 88 master cases of assorted brands of smuggled cigarettes were seized by the ZCPO’s Station 9 operatives around 11:50 p.m. Tuesday on Varadero Street in Barangay Cawit.

He said the ZCPO Station 9 received information that a shipment of smuggled cigarettes was set to arrive in the village.

He said the illicit goods will be turned over to the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Meanwhile, the BOC is set to destroy in full public view next week the millions of pesos worth of smuggled cigarettes seized during the last quarter of this year.

The smuggled cigarettes were stockpiled at a BOC-rented warehouse in the city. (PNA)