The Marine Battalion Landing Team-5 of the Naval Task Group Central/ 1st Marine Brigade (1MBDE) seized an elf truck with unregistered cigarettes worth P1.4 million in Barangay Sapad, Matanog, Maguindanao on December 26, 2020.
The white Isuzu elf truck with temporary plate number 1230 112145 was flagged down by Marine Troops executing combined AFP-PNP mobile patrol/intensified checks with Campo Omar (MNLF Camp) in Brgy Sapad, Matanog, Maguindanao, according to NFWM Spokesperson Lieutenant Chester Ross Cabaltera PN.
During a search of the truck, officials uncovered boxes of unauthorized Fort Cigarettes with a market value of P1.4 million in plain sight.
A certain Karim Omar, the claimed leader of the MNLF IMBTA Unit, and a certain Abdullah Saidan, the purported team leader of the MNLF IHBTA, were aboard the car.
These people were accused of helping in smuggling operations.
The smuggled products and identified individuals were immediately handed over to the Matanog Municipal Police Station for proper disposition.
The increased checkpoints are being carried out in reaction to recent allegations of illegal products landing on the beaches of Brgy Kidama, Matanog, Maguindanao.
The commander of Naval Task Group Central/1st Marine Brigade, BGen Jonas R Lumawag PN(M), praised the troops and told them that they would continue to fulfill their duty in helping the government’s anti-smuggling campaign to safeguard the economy, ecology, and national security interests.
The Philippine Navy, through Naval Forces Western Mindanao, will maintain vigilance in carrying out its assigned role of deterring any illegal activity in its area of operation.