5 arrested at Davao del Sur checkpoint for passing off cigarettes as food
DIGOS CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — Five persons were arrested Tuesday by a composite team of police and military personnel after passing off contraband cigarettes as food at a checkpoint at the border of Davao del Sur and Cotabato provinces.
Maj. Peter Glenn Ipong, chief of the Bansalan Municipal Police Station, said that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) provincial team coordinated with local police about a hoard of contraband being transported from Davao City.
With the tipoff, police alerted checkpoints along the national highway and all passing cargo vehicles were carefully checked.
At the checkpoint in Barangay Kinuskusan of Bansalan town, two trucks were flagged down for inspection before being allowed to cross into Cotabato province.
Ipong said the drivers presented a food pass indicating that the cargo consisted of essential products such as oil, rice, and milk.
However, when the cargo compartments were opened in the presence of Barangay Chairman Arnold Mercado, authorities found that, aside from essential products, the trucks were also loaded with cigarettes — 204 boxes when inventoried.
When pressed to present documents for the cigarettes, not one among the five on the truck could give anything hence they were all arrested.
The five suspects, all residents of Maguindanao province, were identified as Haime Akmad Kusain, 27, of Datu Piang town; Musaidin G. Ali, 53, of Datu Salibo; Badrudin Uyag Guket, 31, also of Datu Salibo;b Mama Ayob Uka, 35, of Datu Piang; and Kamarudin Kanday Pendaliday, 25, also of Datu Piang.
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