Maritime police personnel intercepted early Friday morning some 40 boxes of smuggled cigarettes in Sitio Marabahay, Barangay Rio Tuba, Bataraza municipality.
P/Lt. Anna Viola Abenojar, spokesperson for the 2nd Special Operations Unit-Maritime Group (2nd SUO-MG), said that the operation to seize the illegal cigarettes was done because a concerned citizen in the area told authorities that a motor launch carrying the cigarettes from Marabon, Balabac, was coming.
“May nag text na concerned citizen na madalas nakakakita ng mga ganitong activity sa lugar. Alas 7 ng gabi ng Huwebes, nagbantay na sila doon sa medyo malayo sa port, tapos madaling araw dumaan ang van galing doon, sinita nila, positive mga sigarilyo,” Abenojar said.
“Ang mga ganito kasi, bago pa nila kukunin sa mga dumating na latsa sa pier ‘yan, may mga babagsakan na talaga sila, itong nahuli namin hanggang Española lang ito, kasi hindi naman gaanong karamihan,” she added.
Charges for violation of Section 1401 of R.A. 10863, or the “Act Modernizing the Customs Tariff Administration,” will be filed against suspects Abdurahman Madtahil, 42 years old, and Marlon Quidado, 45.
She claimed that the smuggled cigarettes enter the country through Malaysia and are distributed to stores in Bataraza and other parts of the province.
Abenojar said that they have the cigarettes under their custody, including the Toyota Hi Ace GL Grandia that was used to transport them.
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