Smuggled onions, fuel seized in Zambo
The Manila Times
ZAMBOANGA CITY: Authorities seized some 44 tons of smuggled red onions and 300 drums of fuel in separate operations in the southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga, a known entry point of contraband in Mindanao. The operations were launched by the Naval Forces Western Mindanao together with the Philippine Coast Guard, Marine Battalion Landing Team-11, Joint Task Force Zamboanga and the Bureau of Customs. The Navy said security forces intercepted a truck transporting some 3,000 bags of onions in the village of Cawit on Monday, January 23; and a maritime patrol also stopped a boat, ML Marisa, which was loaded with 8,000 bags of onions off Cawit. Each bag of onions weighs four kilograms. Another boat with 300 drums of smuggled fuel was also intercepted on the same day off the coast of Cawit, according to the Navy. “The vehicle and watercraft and the smuggled items are still being held and are subject for proper inventory before we turn them over to the appropriate agency for proper disposition,” the Navy said. “This accomplishment is part of Naval Forces Western Mindanao and Western Mindanao Command’s strong resolve and commitment to assist other government agencies and LGUs on their campaign to eradicate smuggling and other illegal activities in the region,” it added. The Navy did not say where the contraband originated. Just recently, police also seized nearly P9 million worth of smuggled cigarettes and onions in separate operations in Zamboanga Peninsula. Patrolling members of the 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company and the Bureau of Customs-Intelligence and Investigation Service and Enforcement and Security Service intercepted a boat loaded with over 300 boxes of cigarettes worth more than P5 million off Tictabon Island. In Kumalarang town, members of the 2nd Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Mobile Force Company also intercepted a truck transporting 85 boxes of smuggled cigarettes valued at over P1 million at a checkpoint. The 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company and the Bureau of Customs also confiscated over six tons of onions when a police maritime patrol intercepted a boat off Labuan village in Zamboanga City. Authorities did not release the names of the owners of the contraband.