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P21 million worth of smuggled cigarettes confiscated in Sarangani

COTABATO CITY — The police seized P21 million worth of cigarettes from Indonesia in an anti-smuggling operation in Glan, Sarangani on Saturday.

Region 12 police director Brig. Gen. Percival Augustus Placer told reporters on Monday that they have also impounded the P1.7 million worth watercraft carrying the contraband, said to have come from Tongkil island in Sulu province in the Bangsamoro region.

Combined personnel from units of PRO-12, the Sarangani Provincial Police Office, the General Santos City Police Office and the Glan Municipal Police Station intercepted the shipment in Tampat Point in Batulaki area in Glan on Saturday afternoon.

Local officials and members of the Glan municipal police force were quoted in radio reports on Monday as saying that the confiscated 1,075 cases of cigarettes from Indonesia were to be delivered to buyers in different towns in Sarangani and in nearby General Santos City.

Island municipalities in Sulu and in Tawi-Tawi, both in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, are known transshipment points of cigarettes from Indonesia, brought in by Tausug and Sama seafarers.

Placer said the attempt to smuggle P21 million worth of cigarettes from Indonesia into areas covered by PRO-12 was foiled with the help of confidential informants and local executives.

Placer said that they will turn over the seized merchandise to the Bureau of Customs for its proper disposition.

The provincial police and municipal police forces under PRO-12, covering North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces and the cities of Kidapawan, Tacurong, Koronadal and General Santos, had confiscated P112 million worth of cigarettes in one operation after another in the past 16 months.