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Alleged Smuggled Cigarettes Worth Over P20M Seized in Sulu and Maguindanao del Norte

Smuggled Cigarettes

Authorities have confiscated alleged smuggled cigarettes worth over P20 million in separate anti-smuggling operations in Sulu and Maguindanao del Norte. Here are some details according to the report of GMA Regional TV News.

Operation in Indanan, Sulu

In Indanan, Sulu, police seized over P12 million worth of assorted cigarettes and rescued two minors who were allegedly subjected to child labor. The anti-smuggling operation took place in Barangay Kajatian and resulted in the confiscation of 210 boxes of assorted cigarettes.

The minors were taken into police custody pending investigation, while the items seized were turned over to the Bureau of Customs. Authorities have not yet identified the owner of the contraband as of this writing.

Operation in Patikul, Sulu

In another operation in Patikul town, police confiscated more than P5.6 million worth of alleged smuggled cigarettes. They arrested one suspect early on Thursday, July 4, 2024. This operation was initiated based on an intelligence report received from a concerned citizen. The suspect is currently under police custody.

Operation in Maguindanao del Norte

Meanwhile, agents of the National Bureau of Investigation-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (NBI-BARMM) and the police seized alleged smuggled cigarettes worth over P2.6 million in Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte.

Authorities received a tip that a shipment of alleged counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes was being transported in a wing van via the Upi-Awang, Datu Sinsuat Road, en route to Davao City. When authorities intercepted the van, the suspects failed to present legal documents for the shipment. The arrested suspects and seized items are now in the custody of the NBI-BARMM.

Efforts Against Smuggling

These operations highlight the ongoing efforts of Philippine authorities to combat smuggling and illegal trade in the region. The seizure of a significant amount of contraband underscores the implications of smuggling activities. It highlights the need for vigilant enforcement of laws to protect both economic interests and human rights, especially evident in the rescue of minors from child labor.

Furthermore, authorities are investigating the individuals behind these operations. They are committed to taking further action to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Read Also: BOC Seizes P158.7 Million Worth of Kush from Balikbayan Boxes

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