P8.9-million worth of smuggled goods seized in GenSan raid

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 7 July) – Police recovered around P8.9-million worth of smuggled and counterfeit cigarettes from Indonesia in an entrapment operation in a village here on Monday night.

The smuggled cigarettes seized at the Chinese national’s rented house. Photo courtesy of Police Regional Office-12

Brig. Gen. Michael John Dubria, Police Regional Office (PRO)-12 director, said Tuesday the contraband was seized from the possession of a Chinese national identified as Zai Tian Shi, the main target of the operation around 9:25 p.m. in a house along Jerusalem Street, Oringo Subdivision in Barangay City Heights.

He said joint elements from the PRO-12 and the city police office launched the entrapment following reports that smuggled cigarettes were sold at the suspect’s rented house.

It was confirmed after a police officer who posed as a buyer was able to purchase five reams of Gudang Baru cigarettes, an Indonesian brand, for P3,000, he said.

Dubria said the operatives proceeded to arrest the suspect and found at the house a total of 271 boxes of cigarettes composed of Gudang Baru and fake Mighty brand.

Also seized from the Chinese national was P513,000 in cash believed to be the proceeds of his illegal transactions and four sachets of suspected shabu, he said.

“Our investigators are currently preparing multiple charges against the suspect,” he said.

The police official said these were for violation of Republic Act (RA) 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, RA 2893 or the Intellectual Property Rights Law, Section 76 of RA 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law and Section 11, Article II of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Dubria said the latest accomplishment was in line with the PRO-12’s enhanced campaign “against all forms of criminalities” as directed by Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa.

“It is very disappointing that these illegal activities have persisted even amid the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease] pandemic,” he said.

He assured that intensified crackdown will continue and police intelligence units were continually monitoring similar illegal activities in the entire Soccsksargen. (MindaNews)