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P30-M worth of smuggled cigarettes seized by Navy

THE NAVAL Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) seized nearly P30 million worth of smuggled cigarettes along the seawaters of Balut Island, Davao Occidental on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Lt Commander Jerome Bryan Mauring, NFEM Public Information Officer, said BRP Artemio Ricarte (PS37), one of the Navy ships deployed at NFEM area of responsibility seized motorized banca, MB MHUFAR-3, smuggling 1,846 master cases of cigarettes with an estimated value of P28.6 million.

Under the operational supervision of Naval Task Force 71, the Philippine Navy’s floating asset, the BRP Artemio Ricarte (PS37), carried out territorial defense operations near the seas surrounding Balut Island last Feb 25, where the MB MHUFAR-3 was captured with 25 crew. 

Upon conducting an inspection, the PS37 boarding team discovered that the motorized watercraft originated from Tawi-Tawi and was carrying large quantities of boxes of illegal and undocumented cigarettes bound for Malita, Davao Occidental.

For now, the 25 arrested crew are already under the custody of the Sasa Police Station for the filing of appropriate cases.


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