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Navy seizes P21.4-million  in undocumented tobacco

THE NAVAL Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) scored a significant haul on March 30 after seizing over P21.4 million worth of undocumented tobacco products during a maritime patrol off the coast of Batulaki, Glan, Sarangani.

Lt. Commander Jerome Bryan Mauring, NFEM public affairs officer, reported that Boat Attack (BA) 492, a fast craft from the 4th Boat Attack Division under Naval Task Force 71, spotted a suspicious radar contact.

Upon intercepting and inspecting the motorized banca, authorities apprehended 17 crew members and discovered a hidden cache of 1,070 master cases of undocumented tobacco products.

BA 492 escorted the vessel and its crew to Dolephil Pier in General Santos City for turnover to appropriate authorities for further processing and filing of charges.

NFEM commander Commodore Alfredo Tumanda Jr. said this successful NFEM operation highlights their commitment to curbing illegal activities within our area of responsibility, specifically the smuggling of contraband goods.

This was the second-biggest haul for the NFEM in just two months after the nearly P30 million worth of smuggled cigarettes it confiscated on the seawaters of Balut Island, Davao Occidental on Feb. 27.

BRP Artemio Ricarte (PS37) also grounded the motorized banca, MB MHUFAR-3, which smuggled 1,846 master cases of cigarettes with an estimated value of P28.6 million.



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