THE Bureau of Customs Port of Zamboanga (BOC-POZ) intercepted a motorized wooden watercraft marked as “NADZ” loaded with 126 master cases of undocumented cigarettes worth PHP 4.4 million on May 5.
A joint apprehending team, composed of BOC-POZ Enforcement and Security Service – Water Patrol Division (ESS-WPD) personnel and the PNP 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company (2nd ZCMFC – Seaborne), conducted a seaborne patrol operation in Barangay Recodo in Zamboanga City and intercepted the watercraft carrying the illegal goods.
The watercraft was manned by four crew members, three from Barangay Kasanyangan and one from Barangay Southcom, all in Zamboanga City. Allegedly, the watercraft originated from Jolo, Sulu, and was bound for Zamboanga City. However, no documents were presented to prove the regularity of prior importation of the smuggled cigarettes and their transport to Zamboanga City.
The master cases of cigarettes were seized pursuant to Section 1113 in relation to Section 117 of R.A. 10863, or the “Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) of 2016, and Executive Order Number 245 entitled “Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exportation and Importation of Leaf Tobacco and Tobacco Products.” A Warrant of Seizure and Detention will be issued against the cigarettes by Port of Zamboanga District Collector Arthur G. Sevilla, Jr.
BOC-POZ implements intensified anti-smuggling operations and remains steadfast in maintaining close coordination with law enforcement agencies, with the guidance and directive of BOC Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio to curb smuggling in all forms.
Commissioner Rubio stated that “The BOC remains committed to spoil and cease smuggling activities in all parts of the country and create a deterrent for the commission of these unscrupulous acts of economic sabotage.”
The BOC’s anti-smuggling efforts align with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s directive in implementing effective border control measures.