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Navy Seized Shipment Containing P35.2M Smuggled Counterfeit Cigarettes Off Basilan

Troops of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) seized a shipment containing smuggled cigarettes worth P35.2 million off Basilan province.

Based on the report of the Philippine News Agency, the troops of Naval Task Force 61, on a seaborne patrol, comprised of Navy Intelligence Operatives and Naval Seals onboard a Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (BA485), came upon the wooden-hulled vessel M/L Al-Ayessa, which was manned by an 18-man crew.

Smuggled Cigarettes Basilan
Image Source: Philippine News Agency

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The package was confiscated near one of the island communities of Hadji Muhtamad town, formerly known as Pilas group of Islands, in Basilan, according to Rear Adm. Toribio Adaci Jr., NFWM commander. Adaci said that when forces performed a Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure Operations (VBSSO) aboard the M/L Al-Ayessa, they discovered the vessel loaded with 1,008 master cases of contraband cigarettes.

It was estimated to be worth PHP35.2 million, according to the article of the Philippine News Agency (PNA). According to him, Commando Green cigarettes make up 793 of the 1,008 master cases, while Commando Red cigarettes make up the remaining 215.

According to the inquiry, the vessel originated in the province of Sulu and was headed for this city when the army intercepted it. The crew and cargo were turned over to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for proper disposition after the M/L Al-Ayessa was escorted to Naval Station Romulo Espaldon for a joint inspection and inventory.

READ ALSO: Kagawad, Accomplice Arrested Over P3.4M Illegal Drugs in Maguindanao

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