ZAMBOANGA CITY — Authorities seized a shipment of smuggled cigarettes worth PHP11 million aboard a passenger-cargo ferry in this southern port city, an official said Saturday.
Lt. Commander Jimmy Vingno, Zamboanga Coast Guard Station commander, said the shipment was confiscated at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday inside a commercial ferry that had just docked at the local port from Jolo, Sulu.
Vingno said the seizure was made with the help of an intelligence report that a commercial ferry loaded with assorted smuggled cigarettes and illegal drugs had left Jolo, Sulu, en route to this city.
The smuggled cigarettes, he said, consisted of 158 boxes with an estimated market value of PHP11 million, which were concealed in a compartment at the vessel’s engine room.
“The said boxes of imported cigarettes were reportedly mixed with alleged illegal drugs,” the official said, adding that a follow-up search yielded no illegal drug on board.
Vingno said no one has claimed ownership of the confiscated contraband.