Troops, helped by Japan Tobacco, seized more than P1 million of smuggled cigarettes
Government troops, with the help of Japan Tobacco Corp., seized more than a million pesos worth of smuggled cigarettes in Zamboanga City, a military spokesman reported Thursday night.
Major Arvin Encinas, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command, said the cigarettes amounting to P 1.2 million were confiscated at Zamboanga City Seaport on Wednesday.
He said elements of the Joint Task Force Zamboanga, 74th Infantry Battalion, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Coast Guard-Task Force Aduana, Port Police, and Japan Tobacco Corporation were conducting an intelligence driven operation when the smuggled cigarettes were seized.
Encinas said Japan Tobacco Corp. helps the government by monitoring and providing information to support the campaign against economic sabotage.
"All the business establishments in area within Zamboanga, we have a good coordination to establish coordination on our campaign against economic sabotage," he said.
Encinas said "more or less 50 master cases imported smuggled cigarettes, with brand names: Canon, Menthol, and Astro White, mixed with other cargoes loaded in a KIA Bongo Truck," were confiscate.
"The vehicle came from Jolo, Sulu onboard a passenger vessel (MV Lady Mary Joy 1) owned and operated by Aleson Shipping Lines Inc," he said.
Encinas said government forces arrested the truck driver identified as Jalon Sawabi Kalingalan.
"Confiscated items and vehicle were turned over to the Bureau of Customs for inventory and proper disposition while the apprehended person will be held for further investigation.
Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command said emphasized that "with the strong inter-agency collaboration and the support from the different intelligence units, we are able to fulfil our mandated tasks successfully." Robina Asido/DMS