Authorities foil attempt to smuggle Malaysian cigarettes into Maguindanao
The confiscated cigarettes are now in the custody of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region
via The STAR/John Unson

Authorities foil attempt to smuggle Malaysian cigarettes into Maguindanao

John Unson (Philstar.com) - June 28, 2020 - 11:27am

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Authorities foiled Saturday an attempt by boatmen to smuggle into seaside Datu Blah Sinsuat town 100 boxes of cigarettes from Malaysia.

Police Brig. Gen. Manuel Abu of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region said Sunday the two outrigger boats carrying the contraband were intercepted Saturday in an operation by Philippine Navy and police personnel in the territorial waters of Datu Blah Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

Abu said the Navy-led operation that led to the confiscation of the illegal cigarette shipment was launched on request of Mayor Marshall Sinsuat, who was acting on tips sent in by residents.

Police investigators placed at no less than P600,000 the value of the undocumented merchandise.

Sinsuat, chair of the inter-agency peace and order council in Datu Blah Sinsuat, said the five crewmen of the two boats loaded with imported cigarettes are now under police custody.

“Credit for the feat has to go to the 1st Marine Brigade, the Philippine Navy and the Bangsamoro regional police," Sinsuat said.

A unit of the 1st Marine Brigade and PRO-BAR agents twice foiled an attempt early this year to deliver imported cigarettes to coastal areas in Malabang town in Lanao del Sur province in operations that resulted in the seizure of some P6 million worth of cigarettes from Malaysia.

Sinsuat said he is convinced that the smugglers arrested on Saturday could be the same persons who eluded three interception attempts last month by the Datu Blah Sinsuat police and the municipal Bantay Dagat group.

“Finally they got intercepted on Saturday through the efforts of the Philippine Navy, the Marines and the Bangsamoro regional police command,” Sinsuat said.

The arrested smugglers are now undergoing "tactical interrogation" by probers led by Police Major Ronald De Leon of the Datu Blah Sinsuat municipal police.  

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