MANILA – The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has seized PHP1.1 million worth of smuggled cigarettes and arrested six individuals in a police operation in Davao City.

In a statement Tuesday, CIDG chief Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr. said the CIDG Davao City Field Unit and Bunawan Police intercepted a white Hyundai utility vehicle loaded with 70 master cases of New Orleans cigarettes worth PHP1.19 million, along Maharlika Highway, Barangay Ilang, Davao City on May 6.

This resulted in the arrest of Bensar Abdula Salipsatri, 18; Ronniel Caballes Buenavista, 19; Malixander de Leon Imbin, 24; Al-Zayrin Tayah Samsi, 21; Jayvan Asamuddin Tayah, 38; and Abdulmajid Jumani Araji, 48, all residents of Muslim Village, Barangay Ilang, Davao City.

Two male minors, aged 13 years and 16 years, were also rescued by the police.

Itong mga suspek, kasama ‘yong dalawang bata, ay nahuli ng ating mga tauhan sa akto na naghahakot ng kahon-kahon nasabing sigarilyo nang walang kaukulang permit (These suspects, along with the two minors, were caught by our personnel in the act of transporting boxes of cigarettes without the proper permit),” Caramat said.

The six, along with the seized items, were brought to the Bunawan Police for documentation and proper disposition, while the rescued minors were turned over to the station’s Women and Children Protection Desk.

Criminal complaints for violation of Republic Act (RA) 10863 (Customs Modernization and Tariff Act) and RA 10643 (An Act to effectively instill consciousness through graphic health warnings on tobacco products) will be filed through inquest proceedings against the respondents. (PNA)