ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/03 September) – Operatives of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) have intercepted a wooden-hulled vessel loaded with thousands of pesos worth of illegal lumber off Sulu.
Rear Admiral Amando de Guzman, NFWM commander, said the vessel loaded with lumber was intercepted by the personnel of Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas-Jose Loor, Jr. (BRP-Jose Loor, Jr.) at around 3:55 p.m. Thursday off Alomatagnipa, Indanan, Sulu.
Guzman said personnel of the BRP-Jose Loor, Jr. led by Lieutenant Leo Vidal were conducting routine patrol at vicinity 11.1 nautical miles northwest off Silangon, Indanan, when they spotted and intercepted the vessel steaming near the shoreline of the municipality.
As part of the Standard Operating Procedure in the conduct of maritime law enforcement, Guzman said the troops immediately conducted visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) procedures after they discovered the vessel was loaded with 28,000 board feet of undocumented lumber of Lumbayaw species.
He said the vessel, which has seven crew and four passengers on board, is owned Abdul Yamin Hadjula of Dungong, Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi.
He said the vessel was escorted by BRP-Dioscoro Papa to the port of Jolo, the capital of Sulu, and turned over to Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Jolo for appropriate action against the owner of the illegal lumber and the vessel. (MindaNews)