Viet cargo ship apprehended
ZAMBOANGA CITY—Military authorities apprehended a Vietnamese cargo ship and three Filipino-owned boats loaded with at least 131,000 sacks of smuggled imported rice and high-powered firearms off Pata Island in Sulu province early Monday.
Capt. Maria Rowena Muyuela, spokesperson of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said members of a naval task unit and the 64th Marine Company caught the MV An Bien-89-Alci, with 16 Vietnamese crew on board, including its captain Nguyen Van Loi.
The ship, registered under Sunrise Ship and Trading Co., was carrying 116,000 sacks of rice.
The Filipino-owned boats were identified as the ML KH, which was loaded with 7,000 sacks of rice, and had 11 crew members and 79 laborers; ML Fatima Nurmina, which had 1,000 sacks of rice, an M-14, M-16 and M203 guns, 12 crewmen and 55 laborers; and the ML Boy, which was loaded with 7,000 sacks of rice and had seven crewmen.
Also found in Boy were six M-14 and four M-16 rifles.
Muyuela said the total value of seized contraband had yet to be assessed while military personnel were engaged in “board and search” operations in the vessels. Julie S. Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao
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