BOC destroys P1.4-B smuggled cigarettes in Zamboanga City
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur—-More than P1 billion worth of smuggled cigarettes were destroyed on Friday at a rented warehouse in Barangay Baliwasan here.
“This is by far the largest condemnation of seized cigarettes at the port of Zamboanga, following the major apprehension of a warehouse full of smuggled cigarettes in Indanan, Sulu,” said Bureau of Customs (BOC) acting District Collector Arthur Sevilla Jr.
Sevilla said they destroyed a total of 19,419 master cases and another 667 reams of smuggled cigarettes, with a total commercial value of P1.439 billion.
He said the big bulk of the smuggled items—-some 18,533 master cases—-were seized in Indanan, Sulu while the rest were seized during various anti-smuggling operations in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in the first quarter of this year.
The operation in Indanan, Sulu was spearheaded by deputy BOC commissioner Juvymax Uy.
“Uy, with the intelligence group, along with the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) director Verne Enciso, spearheaded the operation last March,” Sevilla said.
The condemnation of the seized items was done by drenching the items with water and repeatedly crushed by a payloader in the presence of personnel from BOC partner agencies.
These were later transported and disposed in a sanitary landfill in Barangay Salaan.
Sevilla didn’t mention the owner of the warehouse in Indanan where the smuggled cigarettes were seized.
Smuggled cigarettes are sold locally at P25 to P60 while locally manufactured brands from P130 to P165.