Apprehended vessel loaded with smuggled rice disappears at Zambo port

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 17 Dec) – Government authorities have launched a search for a vessel loaded with an undetermined amount of smuggled rice that suddenly disappeared at the holding area of the local port.

The search was launched after the Bureau of Customs-Zamboanga District Office requested the assistance of the police and military to intercept the vessel M/L Ayang, “if found at the coastal areas in your respective area of responsibility” and to immediately inform the BoC when apprehended.

The Naval Forces Western Mindanao’s Task Force 61 intercepted M/L Ayang and three other vessels, loaded with rice and falcata logs, on Monday at the shore of Barangay Recodo, this city and turned over to the BoC.

M/L Ayang was discovered to be missing around 1 a.m. Tuesday “at the holding area of the port.”

Supt. Ariel Huesca, chief of the Zamboanga City Public Safety Company (ZCPSC), said he directed his personnel to closely monitor the coastal areas of this city.

He said he ordered his personnel to immediately apprehend M/L Ayang once spotted.

Huesca has urged the public to report to the nearest police stations if and when they will notice transport and unloading of rice in their community.