SMUGGLED CIGARETTES. Personnel of the Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) Station 6 seize some PHP2.5 million worth of smuggled cigarettes along Don Toribio Street in Barangay Tetuan, Zamboanga City on Thursday (March 16, 2023). No one was arrested, as the workers unloading the contraband from a vehicle scampered in various directions when asked for documents. (Photo courtesy of ZCPO)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities seized Thursday some PHP2.5 million worth of smuggled cigarettes in this southern port city, a police official said.

Col. Alexander Lorenzo, Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) director, said the smuggled cigarettes were seized around 11:50 a.m. in Barangay Tetuan after ZCPO Station 6 personnel chanced upon a group of people unloading boxes from a vehicle along Don Toribio Street.

Lorenzo said the laborers scampered in different directions when the policemen asked them for documents of the merchandise they were unloading.

Seized were 69 master cases of assorted smuggled cigarettes worth PHP2.5 million.

Lorenzo said the vehicle and the smuggled cigarettes will be turned over to the Bureau of Customs for proper disposition.

Thursday’s confiscation of smuggled cigarettes was the third for this month here.

On March 1, three suspects were arrested and more than PHP1.3 million worth of smuggled cigarettes were also seized near the island village of Manalipa.

On March 7, personnel of ZCPO Station 7 seized in Barangay San Roque around 34 master cases of assorted brands of cigarettes worth PHP1.19 million following a tip off. (PNA)