4 arrested, P1.9-M smuggled cigarettes seized in Zambo Sur

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.
May 17, 2023, 6:29 pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Police operatives have arrested four suspects and seized PHP1.9 million worth of smuggled cigarettes in separate anti-smuggling operations in Zamboanga del Sur, an official said Wednesday.

Brig. Gen. Neil Alinsañgan, Police Regional Office (PRO) 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) Director, identified the arrested suspects as Adrian Saldo, 39, Ahmedjoem Taupan, 19, Ajis Hajin, 23, and Aziz Ismula, 24.

Alinsañgan said Saldo and Taupan were arrested at a checkpoint along the highway in Barangay Lower Landing, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur on Tuesday night.

Confiscated from Saldo and Taupan were 36 master cases of smuggled cigarettes worth PHP1.2 million.

The two suspects, the vehicle, and the smuggled cigarettes were placed under the custody of the Dumingag municipal police station pending turnover to the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Meanwhile, the other two suspects, Hajin and Ismula, were arrested in Barangay Damit, Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur at 8:30 a.m. on Monday.

The two were intercepted by policemen during a checkpoint operation launched in response to a report that an L-300 van loaded with smuggled cigarettes would pass by the village.

Seized were 1,030 reams of smuggled cigarettes worth PHP721,000. The cargo that came from Zamboanga City is allegedly owned by Ismula.

The suspects and their vehicle loaded with the contraband were temporarily placed under the custody of the Bayog municipal police station pending their transfer to the BOC for proper disposition. (PNA)