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Nation

P35.2 million smuggled cigarettes seized off Basilan

Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Naval forces intercepted a motor launch loaded with more than 1,000 master cases of smuggled cigarettes worth P35.2 million in the waters off an island in Basilan on Wednesday.

Rear Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr., Naval Forces Western Mindanao commander, said intelligence operatives and SEALs conducted board and search operation in the vicinity of Taguto Pilas Island.

A K-9 unit of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency joined the inspection to determine the presence of illegal drugs.

“Based on initial investigation, the watercraft came from Sulu and the contraband was intended for delivery to Zamboanga City,” Adaci said.

The crewmembers of the motorlaunch were turned over to authorities for filing of charges. The smuggled cigarettes were handed over to the custody of the Bureau of Customs for destruction following forfeiture procedures.                                                                      

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