P17-M smuggled cigarettes seized, 2 minors rescued

AUTHORITIES have seized more than P17 million worth of smuggled cigarettes and rescued two child laborers while one person was arrested in separate anti-smuggling operations in Sulu, the police said Thursday, July 4, 2024.

The Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR) did not identify the two rescued child laborers, who were rescued when policemen seized 210 master cases of smuggled cigarettes worth P12,033,000 on Tuesday, July 2, in Sitio Laum Niyog, Kajatian village, Indanan, Sulu.

The PRO-BAR said no one was arrested since the supposed owner of the assorted smuggled cigarettes was not around when the policemen swooped down Sitio Laum Niyog in Kajatian except for the two rescued child laborers.

The two rescued minors are now under the custody of Indanan Municipal Police Station pending investigation while the confiscated smuggled cigarettes were turned over to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for proper disposition.

The PRO-BAR said one person was arrested when policemen seized some 97 master cases of smuggled cigarettes worth P5,650,600 around 1:20 a.m. Thursday, July 4, in Patikul, Sulu.

The policemen launched the anti-smuggling operation based on intelligence information they received from a resident of Patikul.

The PRO-BAR the arrested suspect, a resident of Patikul, was placed under the custody of the police in the same town for further investigation.

The confiscated smuggled cigarettes will be turned over to the BOC for proper disposition and filing of case against the arrested suspect.

Police Brigadier General Prexy Tanggawohn, PRO-BAR director, commended the policemen for their major accomplishment in anti-smuggling.

“In light of numerous apprehensions of smuggling recent apprehensions of smuggling activities, we send a clear and unequivocal message to violators: it is time to cease your unlawful practices,” Tanggawohn said.

“PRO-BAR is unwavering in its commitment to eradicating smuggling and will continue to intensify its operations until this illegal trade is completely stopped,” he added. (SunStar Zamboanga)