In line with the Bureau’s mandate to strengthen efforts against smuggling and prevent the entry of illegal goods, the Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Zamboanga destroyed approximately PHP300 million worth of smuggled cigarettes on December 15, 2021 in a customs-rented warehouse in Brgy. Baliwasan, Zamboanga City.
The BOC, together with representatives from different partner agencies, destroyed more than 8,250 master cases of cigarettes, seized in separate anti-smuggling operations in Zamboanga Peninsula and BASULTA from May to November 2021. Smugglers often declare their cargoes during anti-smuggling operations or Customs checkpoint as sacks of dried fish or fishes with other prime commodities or junk foods inside iceboxes.
District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Z. Barte Jr. has stated that with the guidance from Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero and his firm directive to intensify the anti-smuggling campaign in the region, the Port of Zamboanga reported a seizure of the more than P380M worth of smuggled goods from January to November of this year.
He also expressed that this accomplishment will not be possible without the unwavering support and efficient inter-agency coordination among their partner agencies which includes the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Philippine Marines, Philippine Navy, National Bureau of Investigation, Joint Task Force Zamboanga, the Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Internal Revenue, the local government, and other concerned stakeholders.
Among those who were present in the activity were representatives from the local government unit, heads of partner law enforcement agencies, representative from Commission on Audit, and other stakeholders who witnessed the soaking and crushing of the confiscated cigarettes, which will be disposed in the sanitary landfill in Brgy. Salaan.