Police execs raise alarm on possible cigarette smuggling in Davao del Sur
DIGOS CITY — City Mayor Josef Cagas has called on security forces to heighten their guard in the coastal areas against cigarette smuggling.
The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police raised the alarm that the recent proliferation of smuggled cigarettes in Davao del Sur could have been due to smuggling in the coastal areas.
Lieutenant Colonel Demetrius Taypin, the provincial CIDG chief, said their operatives arrested last week a seller of smuggled cigarettes worth P400,000 in Sta. Cruz town.
A few months ago, a truckload of smuggled cigarettes was seized from a trader in Hagonoy town.
Cagas ordered the leaders of the coastal villages of Sinawilan, Cogon, Aplaya, and Dawis to cooperate with the police in thwarting possible smuggling in their communities.
Lieutenant Colonel Hamlet Lerios, Digos City police chief, said the shores of Aplaya and Dawis are the most likely points used by the smugglers.
Colonel Guisseppe Geralde, Davao del Sur police director, said the task force against these smuggled goods is working on securing the coastal villages in Malalag and Hagonoy towns against the entry of the contrabands.
In Malabang, Lanao del Sur police seized Monday a boatload of smuggled cigarettes shipped through a wooden vessel into coastal Barangay Boniga.
Lieutenant Francis John Tac-an, officer-in-charge of the Malabang police station, said the suspected smugglers had fled when the law enforcers arrived around 9:30 p.m. in the coastal village.
Seized were 29 boxes of cigarettes worth around P500,000. The police also seized the wooden vessel used to transport the contraband.
Colonel Jibin Bongcayao, Lanao del Sur police director, said civilians tipped the Malabang police about the shipment of the smuggled items.
With reports from Edwin O. Fernandez
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