Following the discovery of a stash of P2.7-M contraband tobacco products in South Cotabato on Tuesday, a police “seaborne” patrol intercepted another shipment of smuggled cigarettes in another operation in Zamboanga City.

At past 4 a.m. on June 17, personnel from the 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company “Seaborne”, together with the Bureau of Customs, Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) and Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) conducted an offshore patrol to beef-up monitoring of illegal activities along the coastline of the city.

During the said operation, the troops intercepted two motorized wooden indigenous watercraft commonly known as “jungkong” with body marking “PIRANHA” and the ivory-colored motorized F/V “WRANGLER” owned by a certain Nurtaleeb Ebbah. No pertinent documents were presented during the inspection resulting to the seizure of its cargo of contraband.

The “PIRANHA” was loaded with 24 Master Cases of Champion Menthol, and was manned by two crew members namely: Ali Julkanain, 26; and Mujibar Sharipa, 45.

Investigation revealed that the sea vessel was allegedly from Jundilan, Jolo Sulu bound to Brgy. Recodo, Zamboanga City.

Market value of the seized items reached P2.24 million.

Meanwhile, the MF/V “WRANGLER” was loaded with 40 Master Cases of Champion Menthol, manned by two crew members, Julpikar Dasid, 42 and Jomar Acbal, 32.

“We just received reports about the smuggled items in another part of Mindanao, and now here comes another. We will remain relentless in our effort to go after these smugglers as they conduct their transactions illegally which can give an adverse effect to legitimate business and the consumers,” PNP OIC Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. said.