Zambo rice smugglers now using high-speed boats to evade authorities

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 1 April) – Rice smugglers here have adopted a new strategy of employing high-speed small boats to easily evade authorities in bringing in their goods as the government strengthened its anti-smuggling drive in this city.

Supt. Samuel Labay, local customs police chief, made this disclosure Wednesday as Task Force Zamboanga troops intercepted a shipment of glutinous rice (pilit or malagkit).

He said the shipment of some 1,000 sacks of glutinous rice with an estimated worth of P1 million was intercepted by patrolling troops around 4 a.m. Wednesday at a finger wharf in Barangay Mampang here.

Labay said the sacks of rice were being unloaded from a small boat locally known as “jungkung” and to be loaded on a van type truck when the troops intercepted the shipment.

He described jungkung as a high-speed small boat capable of making fast maneuvers while transporting cargoes, enabling the smugglers to easily evade authorities.

Labay said the new strategy of the smugglers is to moor the big vessel and then transfer the rice to the jungkung that will bring the cargo to the designated landing site.

He said the glutinous rice intercepted early Wednesday came from Thailand and were shipped to Jolo, Sulu via Malaysia.

Labay said the confiscated rice was bound for Cagayan de Oro City when it was intercepted.

He said the confiscated rice shipment was turned over to the Bureau of Customs for proper disposition.