ZAMBOANGA CITY: Authorities in Zamboanga City have recently seized 75 tons of rice suspected to have been smuggled inside the country from Malaysia.
Police said some 3,000 bags of 25-kilo rice were seized from two boats which arrived in the city from the island province of Sulu.
Smuggled rice cost about P600-P700 a bag compared to local rice which sells for up to P1,100 a bag of 25 kilos. It said the boats’ crew have failed to present any importation documents and permits from the Bureau of Customs when authorities inspected their cargo.
Authorities did not identify the owners of the rice, as well as the crew members of the two boats.
Smuggling of rice and diesel fuel from Malaysia to Mindanao is rampant and most of the contraband are being shipped in through Zamboanga City. Mayor Maria Isabelle Salazar has recently ordered an intensified campaign against smuggling activities in an effort to stop these nefarious activities.