Wednesday, August 11, 2010

PN intercepts rice, sugar off Tawi-Tawi


Manila Bulletin, August 4, 2010, Thursday

At least 11 suspected smugglers, two of them claiming
to be Bureau of Customs (BoC) personnel, were arrested
by the Philippine Navy (PN) for trying to sneak in more
than P6 million worth of rice, sugar, and other taxable
cargos through the waters of the southern border in
Lamion, Tawi-Tawi.

Lt. JG. Rommel Rodriguez, public affairs officer of the
Philippine Fleet at Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Sangley
Point, Cavite City, said the suspects were arrested
midnight of August 1.

Rodriguez said the ship BRP Dioscoro Papa (PG381)
intercepted “M/L Parhata” while on patrol at the southeast
off Lamion Point in Tawi-Tawi.

More than 3,400 sacks of Vietnam rice, 300 sacks of sugar
and other undocumented taxable cargos were found onboard
M/L Parhata, according to Rodriguez.

He said 11 crew of M/L Parhata were immediately apprehended
and turned over to customs authorities in Lamion Pier,
Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.

However, two of the 11 crew who were arrested claimed they
are Customs agents and that they had already apprehended
M/L Parhata, but failed to present a mission order authorized
by BoC. Rodriguez said the two were also not in their uniform
when caught.

“According to Awab Dawami, the skipper of M/L Parhata, the two
men never identified themselves to him when they boarded his
vessel and never asked him to present any papers supporting
the transportation of the contraband items he was carrying,”
said Rodriguez.

The two men who claimed to be BoC agents were identified as
Atari Misuari and Duksin Jaji.

Authorities are now checking their identities and if they are
indeed customs agents with appropriatemission order.

Rodriguez said M/L Parhata, enroute for Bongao, Tawi-Tawi from
Sabah, Malaysia is owned by a certain Ibnosalin Gadjali, of
Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.

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