BOC destroys P300-M value of cigarettes confiscated in Zambo City

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Firefighters spray over 8,000 cases of confiscated cigarettes that have formed a huge pile of mountains inside the Fast Cargo logistics complex at Barangay Baliwasan, in the city of Zamboanga. The Customs Office estimates the confiscated goods at 300 million pesos. PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY THE CUSTOMS OFFICE.

CITY OF ZAMBOANGA — The Customs Office (BOC) destroyed 300 million pesos of contraband cigarettes which it confiscated from May to November of this year.

Piles of 8,250 cases of confiscated cigarettes formed a huge mountain that eclipsed the two fire trucks that bombarded it with water inside the Fast Cargo logistics warehouse in the village of Baliwasan on Wednesday, December 15.

Lawyer Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr., a district collector of BOC in the city of Zamboanga, said he hoped that the destruction of contraband cigarettes would deter smugglers from their illegal activities in the future.

He estimates the value of contraband goods in terms of duties and taxes unpaid to the government at 300 million pesos.

Firefighters spray water over 8,000 cases of confiscated cigarettes that have formed a huge pile of mountains inside the Fast Cargo logistics complex in Barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga town. The Customs Office estimates the confiscated goods at 300 million pesos. PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY THE CUSTOMS OFFICE.

“These are contraband cigarettes seized in separate anti-smuggling operations in the Zamboanga Peninsula and in Basilan, Sulu and Tawitawi (Basulta) from May to November of this year,” Barte said.

He said smugglers have created new ways to slip contraband into legitimate shipments, hoping they will go undetected by authorities.

“(Sometimes their contraband is kept in bags of dried fish, sometimes they declare the goods as commodities or junk food, but our agents and security forces are vigilant at checkpoints,” he said. he said. “We collected this amount of contraband items from them.”

The smugglers also monitor the movements of the security forces.

“They don’t use regular ports, they use islands and travel at night when they thought our agents wouldn’t detect them,” he said.

Barte said the contraband had bled government coffers as smugglers tried to get away by paying duties. “We have to collect more taxes because of the pandemic. Everyone is affected here, so we urge everyone to remain vigilant so that smuggling operations never prosper, ”he added.

He said that from January to April of this year, BOC also destroyed 80 million pesos of confiscated contraband cigarettes that were shipped to that town through a backdoor.

Firefighters spray water over 8,000 cases of confiscated cigarettes that have formed a huge pile of mountains inside the Fast Cargo logistics complex in Barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga town. The Customs Office estimated the confiscated goods at 300 million pesos. PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY THE CUSTOMS OFFICE.

Brands like Arthur Green, Arthur Red, Forth, Astro have had huge sales here; with each pack selling at P20 to P30, down from the going price of P50 to P80 per pack of locally manufactured cigarettes.

“We will not stop,” said Barte. “Smugglers are watching how their capital is crushed beyond use. We are always intensifying the operations, ”said Barte, thanking the various agencies such as the Philippine Coast Guard, the Special Action Force, the city government, the mobile police force for participating in the operations and the citizens for their assistance. vigilance.

The wooden hulls used to transport the contraband items were turned over to the city police.

/ MUF

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