P15M worth of rice smuggled from Malaysia seized aboard vessel off Tawi-Tawi waters
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur––The Bureau of Customs (BOC) intercepted Sunday more than P15 million worth of smuggled rice aboard one of the vessels plying the waters off Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
Lawyer Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr., BOC district collector in this city, said a tip led them to the motor launch MV Eshan Khan, where authorities found and seized close to 20,000 sacks of smuggled rice worth about P15 million in the market.
“This is the first time this year that smugglers attempted to ship in smuggled rice,” said Barte, who lauded the Enforcement and Security Service, the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, and personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard for the successful operation.
He said the rice came from Sandakan, Malaysia.
Authorities invited the 14 MV Eshan Khan crew for questioning as they tracked down the owners and potential dealers of the smuggled product.
Once they identify the smugglers, authorities will file charges for violating the tariffication law, Barte said.
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