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Malaysian, 3 others nabbed for cigarette smuggling

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

A Malaysian and three Filipinos were intercepted by authorities on July 10 at a docking area in Barangay 2, Ilog, Negros Occidental, for alleged cigarette smuggling.

PMaj. Joseph Partidas, Ilog police chief, disclosed that the contraband was intercepted through a joint operation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Philippines Coast Guard, members of the local police, and Bantay Dagat of Ilog and Himamaylan City.

Partidas said the four arrested suspects allowed the authorities to inspect the motorized sea vessel.

Upon inspection, Partidas said they discovered 150 large cartoons containing 77,750 packs of assorted cigarettes, with a market value yet to be determined by the BIR.

Initial police investigations indicated that the suspected smuggled cigarettes came from Zamboanga, which was transported to Ilog town, over a span of almost two days.

Last month, BIR personnel, assisted by Army soldiers and policemen, also seized smuggled cigarettes at the public market of Escalante City, also in Negros Occidental.

Partidas said the four arrested suspects are now detained at the Ilog custodial facility, while the confiscated cigarettes were brought by BIR personnel to Bacolod City, for proper disposition.*

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