BOC destroys P595.2 million seized smuggled cigarettes

Louise Maureen Simeon, Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star
BOC destroys P595.2 million seized smuggled cigarettes
Seized smuggled cigarettes worth P595.2 million are destroyed at a warehouse in Zamboanga City yesterday.
Roel Pareño

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Smuggled cigarettes confiscated in various operations in Western Mindanao worth P595.2 million were destroyed in this city yesterday.

At least 8,816 master cases and 1,014 reams of smuggled cigarettes as well as raw materials were shredded, drenched in water and crushed by a payloader at a rented warehouse in Barangay Baliwasan.

The destroyed cigarettes were disposed in a sanitary landfill in Barangay Salaan.

Bureau of Customs district collector Arthur Sevilla Jr. said the smuggled cigarettes were seized in maritime patrol operations and inter-agency checkpoints in Zamboanga peninsula, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi from November 2023 to April this year.

Sevilla said manual destruction instead of burning was done, noting that unauthorized cigarette products are hazardous and should be disposed of in accordance with environment regulations.

“The condemnation process plays a crucial role in ensuring the proper disposal of illicit goods,” Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio said.

“We will make sure that only legitimate products enter our local markets, safeguarding our citizens from the dangers associated with illicit tobacco trade,” Rubio added. – Evelyn Macairan

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