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Monday, July 15, 2024

BOC destroys P595-M worth of smuggled cigarettes

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The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has destroyed more than P595-million worth of smuggled cigarettes in a customs-rented warehouse in Brgy. Baliwasan, Zamboanga City.

BOC Acting District Collector Arthur Sevilla Jr. said 8,816 cases and 1,014 reams of smuggled cigarettes were seized in operations in various areas of the Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi from November 2023 to April 2024.

The cigarettes were manually shredded with a cutter, drenched in water, and repeatedly crushed by payloader equipment in the presence of all partner agencies. These will be disposed of in the sanitary landfill in Brgy. Salaan, Zamboanga City.

The Customs official said these unauthorized and potentially hazardous contraband were disposed of in accordance with environmental regulations and public safety measures.

“The BOC Zamboanga has been conducting the disposal of smuggled cigarettes through a public condemnation activity, in the presence of representatives from the Commission on Audit, Department of Health, the local government unit, stakeholders, and all partner operating units,” Sevilla said.

The BOC will ensure that only legitimate products enter local markets to safeguard Filipino citizens from the dangers associated with the illicit tobacco trade.

“Maintaining transparency and credibility is our foremost commitment. The condemnation process plays a crucial role in ensuring the proper disposal of illicit goods,” the agency said in a statement.

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