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Cops seize 45 boxes of imported cigarettes in Sulu

COTABATO CITY — Policemen on Sunday confiscated 45 large boxes of cigarettes from Indonesia ready for delivery to local buyers. These were found in a barangay in the seaside Indanan town in Sulu.

Bangsamoro police director Brig. Gen. Prexy Tanggawohn on Monday said that the contraband, costing P540,000 were piled in a secluded beachfront in Barangay Kajatian in Indanan, abandoned by seafarers who brought them in when they sensed that policemen were approaching their location.

A team comprised of personnel from the Sulu Provincial Police Office and the Indanan Municipal Police Station were dispatched to the area after Tausug community leaders and barangay officials reported seeing men, speaking to each other in Tausug dialect, unloading from a watercraft large boxes of cigarettes with Indonesian brands.

Local officials said the cigarettes were apparently consigned to traders in Indanan and in nearby Jolo town, the provincial capital of Sulu.

Personnel of the Indanan police force, operatives from different units of the Sulu PPO and local officials had seized P9.7 million worth of imported cigarettes in a series of operation in different seaside barangays in the municipality since late 2022, records from the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region showed.

Tanggawohn said that he has directed the officials of the Sulu provincial police to immediately facilitate the turnover to the Bureau of Customs of the 45 boxes containing cigarettes with Indonesian brands for its proper disposition.