ZAMBOANGA CITY – Government operatives on Friday seized a total of P4.7 million smuggled cigarettes and arrested a truck driver and his companion, at around 6:40pm in Sitio Malasugat, Barangay Sangali, the police authorities reported.
BGen Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) identified the truck driver as one Jay Villarosa, 43, and his companion known as Abby Jadjail, 31, both residents of this province.
Villarosa and Jadjail did not resist when flagged down by police operatives manning the checkpoint in Barangay Sangali.
Initial investigation disclosed that while the police operatives were manning the checkpoint, they flagged down a truck that turned out to be loaded with P4.3 million smuggled cigarettes covered only by a styrofoam cooler.
The smuggled items were now placed under the custody of the Zamboanga City Police Office’s Station 3 awaiting formal turn over to the Bureau of Customs, which is the right office to probe and processed seized and smuggled items.
Meanwhile, in Barangay Culianan, police operatives again chanced upon another 4-wheeled vehicle loaded with contraband cigarettes, as well as arrested the driver for loading said smuggled items into his vehicle.
The suspect was identified as Hermie Ibañez, 34, resident of Barangay Culianan. Police manning the checkpoint confiscated 751 reams (502 Fort and 249 Famous) cigarettes worth P450,600.
The suspect was brought to Pagadian City Police Station for further questioning and interrogation. His vehicle and cigarettes were seized by the police. – PNA