The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday said it seized P18.25 million worth of alleged smuggled cigarettes in Samal Island.
In a statement, the BOC said the seizure was done by Customs Collection District XIII through a conduct of a joint maritime patrol with the Naval Forces on July 9, 2023 around 10:30 p.m. in the vicinity of Brgy. Camudmud.
BOC said it confiscated 23,400 reams of alleged illicit cigarettes in a motorized wooden boat.
Authorities arrested the boat’s 10 crew members, who were later turned over to the Sasa Police Station for booking and filing of appropriate charges.
“This operation reflects our unwavering commitment in combating illegal activities and ensuring the safety and security of our citizens. We will continue to work tirelessly to disrupt the illegal tobacco trade and protect our communities from its harmful effects,” said Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio.
The Customs said the latest enforcement action demonstrates Customs Collection District XII's commitment in safeguarding our borders and protecting public health.
It said illegal cigarettes not only pose a significant threat to our economy but also jeopardize the well-being of consumers.
Last week, the BOC also confiscated P7.3 million worth of alleged smuggled cigarettes along the waters of Manalipa island in Zamboanga City. —VAL, GMA Integrated News