P45M smuggled cigarettes seized

ZAMBOANGA CITY — Agents from the Bureau of Customs here seized about 1,000 master cases of assorted brands of imported cigarettes last month with an estimated market worth of P45 million.

According to BoC Zamboanga City district collector Segundo Barte Jr., said that they have recorded at least six seizures involving the contraband and arrested 27 of their laborers caught transporting the contraband to other places in Region 9 last month for distribution and trading.

Large seizures of the contraband were recorded at sea when sea crafts of smugglers carrying the imported goods were intercepted by authorities while en route to some major provinces and cities in the region for distribution.

The contraband are originating from the nearby Sandakan, the second largest city after Kota Kinabalu in the Federal State of Sabah, Malaysia, Barte said.

Among the famous brand of imported cigarettes being sold in the region by smugglers were Cannon, New Berlin, Fort, San Marino, Soda, Royal, Union and New Far and San Diego.

Police and military authorities in the region are presently extending help on border control.

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