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P3-M worth of smuggled, fake cigarettes retrieved in Tawi-Tawi

Operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group on Saturday retrieved P3 million worth of smuggled cigarettes in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.

According to John Consulta’s report on “24 Oras Weekend,” the operatives used boats to retrieve the contents of a container van from Malaysia that was washed ashore.

The PNP Maritime Group received information that four containers filled with cigarettes from Malaysia were en route to Jolo. In the middle of the voyage, however, the ship sank due to inclement weather.

“Nakita ko ‘yung tatlong container. ‘Yung dalawang container wala nang laman, pero ‘yung isa, may laman siya na sigarilyo, kalahati basa, kalahati wala na,” Police Lieutenant Colonel Gaylord Tamayo of the PNP Maritime Group said.

“Idi-distribute sa area ng… Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi,” he added.

Authorities also discovered that the cigarettes were illegal copies of a known brand.

“Ang package niya made in the Philippines pero hindi gawa sa Pilipinas. Malaking tax ang mawawala sa gobyerno,” Tamayo said.

The cigarettes will be turned over to the Bureau of Customs. — Joahna Lei Casilao/DVM/KG, GMA News