Police authorities in Taytay have seized suspected smuggled cargoes from a local boat owner who reported that they came from a Chinese vessel in an unidentified area of the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
A report obtained by Palawan News signed by P/Cpt. Dhayrius Redondo on December 23 claimed that the boxes contained “some kind of a machine” loaded by a Chinese vessel crew on the boat of Armando Montelibano, 50, on December 15.
According to the police report, an initial investigation carried out regarding the cargoes found that Montelibano is a resident of Purok Pag-ibig, Barangay Liminangcong in Taytay and the owner of motorized boat Jam 2 which was hired to deliver lobsters that will be picked up by a Chinese vessel.
He was hired for a one way trip to the WPS by two individuals identified only as “Mr. Song” and “Cherry” who are allegedly lobster business partners in Liminangcong.
The report further claimed that after unloading the lobsters from Jam 2, a crew of the Chinese vessel loaded three boxes to his boat. He was unable to argue with the Chinese national because they only communicate through sign language.
Montelibano reportedly called Song and Cherry regarding the boxes that were loaded on his boat, but both denied that it is for them. They reportedly informed Montelibano that the boxes are for a certain David Wang.
A certain Yuvela Faje Lagares, who identified herself as his secretary, also claimed the same. When Wang was informed that Montelibano wanted to collect P50,000 for transport and freight services, the latter refused to pay.
Montelibano was forced to report the cargoes to police, including Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and anti-illegal drugs authorities after several days had passed and Wang did not show up to make the payment. The boat owner allegedly also became suspicious about the contents of the cargoes.
When Lagares was questioned about the boxes and their legal transport documents, she was unable to produce any, the special report further said.
It said that sniffer dogs were brought in too to check if the boxes have illegal drugs and explosives, but the “sweeping” turned negative.
The cargoes are now under the custody of the police station in Taytay, the report said.