BOC destroys P400M worth of smuggled cigarettes in Zamboanga, Pagadian cities | Inquirer News

BOC destroys P400M worth of smuggled cigarettes in Zamboanga, Pagadian cities

/ 05:45 PM December 14, 2022

Customs officials destroy nearly P400 million worth of smuggled cigarettes

Cigarettes. Stock image

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur — Customs officials destroyed on Tuesday, December 13, close to P400 million worth of smuggled cigarettes they had confiscated in various anti-smuggling operations earlier this year.

Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr., district collector of BOC Zamboanga port, said they had disposed of more than 11,219 master cases of imported cigarettes with an estimated commercial value of P359 million.


Barte said the operation, which was simultaneously conducted here and in Pagadian City, was the second they had conducted this year after the destruction of P110 million worth of smuggled cigarettes in this city in May.


Aside from customs officials, representatives from the Commission on Audit, the local government and other partner agencies witnessed the event.

Barte said the contrabands were seized during separate anti-smuggling operations in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi from May to November this year.

The Port of Zamboanga confiscated more than P500 million worth of smuggled cigarettes for the year, following the Customs Commissioner’s directive to strengthen measures against smuggling and promote transparency in operations.

READ: P9.6M worth of smuggled cigarettes intercepted in Zamboanga City

Barte said the process of condemnation required water and a pay loader. “The cigarettes were drenched in water and repeatedly crushed by pay loading equipment in the presence of all partner agencies. After the destruction, they were disposed of into the sanitary landfill in Barangay Salaan,” he said, referring to the village landfill about 15 kilometers away from Baliwasan wharf, the area where they destroyed the first batch of smuggled goods in May.

The Naval Forces Western Mindanao and the Zamboanga City Police Office had contributed greatly to the anti-smuggling operation that led to the seizure of the smuggled cigarettes.


Lt. Chester Cabaltera, spokesperson for the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, said the Navy alone had turned over to the Bureau of Customs a total of 1,932 master cases of smuggled cigarettes valued at P87.52 million from its operations from March to November this year.

READ: P2.45M halaga ng smuggled cigarettes, freezer van nasabat ng BOC-Davao

Cabaltera said the Navy’s biggest haul happened on Nov. 23 in the seawaters off Labuan village here, where they seized 1,511 cases of assorted cigarettes valued at P53.635 million aboard five boats. The boats used in transporting the contraband were seized and a total of 25 crew members of the vessels were arrested, he added.

The goods seized by the Navy added up to the 9,553 cases of cigarettes previously seized by the Zamboanga City police in 51 anti smuggling operations this year.

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Police Col. Alexander Lorenzo, acting city police director, said the estimated market value of the smuggled cigarettes the police seized from January to November this year reached P332.9 million, which also resulted in the arrest of 135 individuals, mostly boat crew members involved in transporting the contraband.

TAGS: cigarettes, Pagadian City, Smuggling

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