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Surigao del Norte PNP arrests “big-time” businessman and another retailer of smuggled cigarettes


Mindanao authorities escalated further their region-wide operations against smuggled goods, this time in Surigao del Norte and focused on apprehending distributors and peddlers of illegal cigarettes in the province.

Enforcing the “Oplan Mega Shopper,” various divisions of the PNP in Surigao del Norte conducted series of operations in the province carting off voluminous and assorted brands of smuggled cigarettes.

Operatives belonging to Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of Surigao del Norte PFU in coordination with CIDG Dinagat Islands and Surigao City PS arrested a “big-time” distributor supplying smuggled cigarettes in various public markets in the area.

Arrested at a public market in Barangay Taft, Surigao City at around 11am on July 20 was Arsad Macapode and confiscated from him were 570 reams of assorted brands of illegal cigarettes, the market value of which was estimated to be P513,000.

Seized smuggled brands of cigarettes were 282 reams of Cannon, 111 reams of President, 62 reams of Greenhills, 18 reams of New Berlin, 28 reams of Champion, 33 reams of Jackpot, 21 reams of Blast, 10 reams of Mighty, 3 reams of New Orleans and 2 reams of Fort.

Initial information disclosed that the suspect was also selling and supplying smuggled cigarettes in various public markets in the province and is facing charges of RA 8424 or the Tax Reform Act of 1997 and RA 10643 otherwise known as the Graphics Health Warnings Law.
Another “Oplan Mega Shopper” operation was held in Purok 2, Sta. Cruz, San Jose, Dinagat Islands arrested a peddler of smuggled cigarettes on July 22.
Acting on an information fed by a concerned citizen, joint police operation composed of CIDG Dinagat Islands PFU, CIDG Surigao del Norte PFU and San Jose MPS arrested Michelle Tabora and seized in her possession 111 reams of assorted illegal brands of cigarettes.
Confiscated from the suspect were illegal brands such as New Orleans, Champion Black, New Minister, Walton, President, Champion White and Champion Black.
Authorities said the suspect was caught in the act of selling her illegal goods from a sari-sari store in the area but found out that she has also been selling smuggled cigarettes in the nearby barangays.
Both suspects are now detained at the local PNP stations where they were arrested and currently undergoing interrogation to determine the sources of their illicit goods.

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