On December 26, 2020, the Marine Battalion Landing Team-5 under the Naval Task Group Central/ 1st Marine Brigade (1MBDE) intercepted an elf truck carrying undocumented cigarettes amounting to P1.4 million in Barangay Sapad, Matanog, Maguindanao.
According to NFWM Spokesperson Lieutenant Chester Ross Cabaltera PN, the white Isuzu elf truck bearing temporary plate no 1230 112145 was flagged down by Marine Troops conducting joint AFP-PNP mobile patrol/intensified checkpoints along with Campo Omar (MNLF Camp) in Brgy Sapad, Matanog, Maguindanao.
Upon inspection of the truck, the authorities discovered, in plain view, boxes of undocumented Fort Cigarettes with an estimated market value of P1.4 million.
Onboard the vehicle was a certain Karim Omar, the alleged leader of MNLF IMBTA Unit, and a certain Abdullah Saidan, alleged team leader of MNLF IHBTA.
Allegedly, these individuals were reported to have been assisting smuggling activities.
Immediately the smuggled goods and identified personalities were turned-over to Matanog Municipal Police Station for proper disposition.
The intensified checkpoints are being conducted in response to the recent reports indicating the landing of smuggled goods in the shorelines of Brgy Kidama, Matanog, Maguindanao.
BGen Jonas R Lumawag PN(M), the Commander, Naval Task Group Central/1st Marine Brigade lauded the troops and assured them that they would continue to do their duty in supporting the government’s campaign against smuggling to protect the economy, environment, and security interests.
The Philippine Navy, through the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, will remain vigilant in the conduct of its mandated task to deter any unlawful activities in its area of operation. — Philippine Navy