Zamboanga: P595M worth of seized cigarettes condemned

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photo courtesy by Kathy Wee Sit | PIA Western Mindanao

The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Zamboanga spearheads the condemnation of over P595 million worth of seized and forfeited cigarettes Thursday, June 13 in a customs-rented warehouse in Barangay Baliwasan.

The campaign forms part of the BOC’s ongoing campaign to protect the nation’s borders and curb the influx of illicit goods.

As this developed, Mayor John Dalipe, through Vice Mayor Josephine Pareja lauded the BOC and other supporting agencies for the unrelenting campaign to rid the city and its neighboring areas of smuggled goods, as he reaffirmed his zero-tolerance against smuggling.

More than 8,816 cases and 1,014 reams of smuggled cigarettes were destroyed during the operation.

photo courtesy by Kathy Wee Sit | PIA Western Mindanao

These contrabands were confiscated through maritime patrol operations and inter-agency checkpoints across various regions, including the Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, from November 2023 to April 2024.

The destruction process involved manually shredding the cigarettes with a cutter, drenching them in water, and then repeatedly crushing them with payloader equipment, and eventually their disposal at the sanitary landfill located in Barangay Salaan. This method ensures compliance with environmental regulations and public safety measures, according to District Collector Arthur G. Sevilla Jr. of the Port of Zamboanga.

photo courtesy by Kathy Wee Sit | PIA Western Mindanao

The event was attended by Vice Mayor Josephine Pareja, City Administrator Wendell Sotto, and Councilor James Siason, alongside officials from the BOC Port of Zamboanga’s Customs Police Division, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Division, and all other partner operating units.

(Source: City Government of Zamboanga Facebook page with reports from Bernadeth Lazaro)

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