P10M smuggled rice seized in Tungawan PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 05 September 2015 13:56

By NONOY E LACSON and DAN TORIBIO JR.

TUNGAWAN, Sibugay Province ( September 4, 2015) – The municipal government in coordination with law enforcement agencies  in this town seized about P10.5 Million worth of smuggled rice aboard M/L Shaida, Thursday  off the coast of Barangay Libertad.

Mayor Randy Climaco said law enforcement agencies spotted the vessel  Thursday along the coast of Barangay Magsasay in RT Lim town before it dropped anchor at Sibugay Bay about 7 p.m, Thursday.

Climaco said the  motor lunch when inspected, was carrying about 15,000 sacks  25 kilos per sack of  imported rice coming from Malaysia.

He said the  boat captain could not produce any importation paper for the  rice shipment  when government operatives inspected and demanded  for it.

This prompted lawmen to  put to hold the vessel and cargoes pending confirmation of the shipment from the  Bureau of Customs (BoC)  in Zamboanga City.

Climaco said the vessel  and its  cargoes  are now being guarded by soldiers of the  6th Special Forces Battalion of the Philippine Army based in this town

Lt.  Col Dante Bermilio Battalion, commander of the 6th SF Battalion, said they will only release  the vessel and its cargoes when  BoC will issue  an order to them, declaring hat the shipment is legal and have met with all the requirements for importation of  rice from Malaysia.

“As of now, we still don’t know if who is the owner of the shipment. Nobody had come forward and claimed ownership,” Climaco said.

Meanwhile, the BoC in Zamboanga City said  they will not go to this town to conduct inspection of the  cargoes seized by authorities.

BoC said authorities who apprehended the shipment should bring the vessel to Zamboanga  City and  turn it over  to BoC for  inventory and proper disposition.

The reaction of BoC has led authorities here to suspect that some members of the BoC are involved in the shipment of the smuggled rice.

Climaco  has recently formed Task Force Anti-Smuggling to  prevent the  use of this town as an entry point of smuggled goods like rice, sugar and other imported  products coming from Malaysia.

Police in Zamboanga Sibugay also filed a report on the confiscation of the rice shipment in Tungawan.

Zamboanga Sibugay Public Safety Company commander Supt. William Gadayan said that two bongo-type trucks loaded with sacks of rice and heading for Zamboanga City were intercepted in RT Lim.

However the drivers and truck men escaped and eluded arrest.

After the two trucks were held, Gadayan’s men, backed up by men of the RT Lim Municipal Police Station, soldiers of the 44th Infantry Battalion, personnel of the 902nd Maritime Police, NISG(WM) and men from the 17th Special Forces Company, proceeded to a finger wharf in Tungawan and caught a motorlaunch named M/L Shaida registered under the name of Shariha Omar of Sapa-Sapa, Tawi-Tawi, unloading thousands of sacks of rice.

It was learned that the sacks of rice aboard on two trucks came from the boat.

Police identified the boat captain as JhoulTangcaya Omar of Tawi-Tawi. — Nonoy E Lacson and Dan Toribio Jr.

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 September 2015 13:57