AUTHORITIES in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines have seized 75 tons of rice suspected to have been smuggled inside the country from the neighboring Malaysia.
Police said some 3,000 bags of 25-kilo rice were seized from two boats which arrived here from the southern 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’ skippers have failed to present any importation documents and permits from the Bureau of Customs when authorities inspected the cargoes.
Authorities did not release the identities of the owners of the rice. Smuggling of rice and diesel fuel from Malaysia to the southern Philippines is rampant and many of the contraband are being shipped to Zamboanga City.
Mayor Maria Isabelle Salazar has recently ordered an intensified campaign against smuggling activities in Zamboanga City in an effort to stop the nefarious activities. AL JACINTO