P21-M smuggled cigarettes seized

FILE PHOTO: Cigarettes are seen during the manufacturing process in the British American Tobacco Cigarette Factory (BAT) in Bayreuth, southern Germany, April 30, 2014. Picture taken April 30, 2014. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo

COTABATO CITY — Police seized P21 million worth of cigarettes from Indonesia, intercepting the boat loaded with the contraband in an anti-smuggling operation in Glan, Sarangani last weekend, authorities revealed on Monday.

Brig. Gen. Percival Augustus P. Placer, Police Regional Office 12 (PRO-12) director, said his men impounded the P1.7-million watercraft that was carrying the 1,075 cases of cigarettes from Tongkil Island in Sulu province.

The interception by joint police units came following a tip-off that the merchandise was being transported through Tampat Point in Batulaki area in Glan on Saturday afternoon and was due for distribution to buyers in Sarangani and General Santos City.

The seized cigarettes have been turned over to the Bureau of Customs for proper disposition.

The island municipalities of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, both in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, are known transshipment points of cigarettes from Indonesia, brought in by Tausug and Sama seafarers. — John Felix M. Unson