Image shows a pile of cigarettes.
Image by klimkin from Pixabay
P700,000 worth of smuggled cigarettes left abandoned in Lanao del Sur
John Unson (Philstar.com) - July 15, 2020 - 4:05pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Probers are still clueless on the ownership of P700,000 worth of Malaysian cigarettes found abandoned in a secluded area in Barangay Curahab in Malabang, Lanao del Sur early this week.

Local officials told reporters Wednesday the couriers of the 30 boxes of smuggled cigarettes on board an Isuzu truck ran away when personnel of the 5th Marine Battalion arrived to intercept the shipment.

The responding Marines found some of the boxes containing the smuggled cigarettes scattered on the ground near the truck.

Investigators are convinced the 30 unmarked boxes containing the Malaysian cigarettes were to be hidden somewhere near the truck was parked.

The still unidentified men who brought the P700,000 worth of cigarettes to Barangay Curahab scampered away when they noticed the Marines closing in, acting on tips by vigilant villagers.

Members of the 5th Marine Battalion have foiled an attempt early this year by Tausug boatmen to smuggle into a seaside barangay in Malabang using a small boat more than a hundred boxes of cigarettes from Malaysia.

The shipment was from Sabah, Malaysia, ferried to Malabang via Sulu, a component province of the Bangsamoro region.

Local officials in Datu Blah Sinsuat, a coastal town in Maguindanao, personnel of the 2nd Marine Battalion and the Philippine Navy also intercepted just three weeks ago P2.5 million worth of Malaysian cigarettes on two pumpboats from Sulu.

The 30 boxes of cigarettes the Marines seized in Barangay Curahab, a secluded area in Malabang, were immediately turned over to the municipal police.

The Malabang municipal police will use the confiscated illegal merchandise as evidence in the prosecution of its shippers once identified.  

CIGARETTES SMUGGLING
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