ZAMBOANGA CITY: A small boat suspected of carrying a cargo of smuggled rice was intercepted by a Philippine Navy patrol ship off the southern port city of Zamboanga on Saturday, officials said.
Officials said the boat was loaded with 8,000 bags of Malaysian rice when it was intercepted by navy patrol.
Rear Admiral Jesus Millan said the cargo, estimated to be worth over P7 million, was handed over to the Bureau of Customs in Zamboanga City for proper documentation and filing of appropriate charges.
“This new apprehension is again part of the intensified conduct of law enforcement and maritime security operations by the Naval Forces Western Mindanao as part of our assistance to the Bureau of Customs in curbing smuggling in Zamboanga City,” he said.
The Navy has seized many smuggled cargos, mostly rice and fuel, in southern Philippines the past years, despite the lack of patrol ships and modern equipment to monitor and secured the long coastal areas in the region.