The Philippine Navy Multipurpose Assault Craft (MPAC) intercepted a cargo vessel loaded with smuggled sugar worth P6 million in the west coast off this city, according to Navy official Saturday. Rear Admiral Jorge Amba, commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM), said the MPAC 484 headed by Navy Lt. Reynyleo Ballesteros found M/L Alkawsar loaded with contraband Thursday shortly before midnight off Barangay Recodo. He said the Naval team aboard the MPAC initially spotted the vessel with three motorized bancas that immediately scrammed to different directions. The Naval team intercepted M/L Alkawsar and conducted board and search inspection which led to the discovery of smuggled sugar. Amba said further inspection revealed that M/L Alkawsar, with seven crew members on board, came from Sandakan, Sabah. It was loaded with more or less 1,500 sacks of refined sugar worth P6 million and other cargoes. Amba said the operation was part of the intensified operations against smuggling activities in this region. Amba, who recently took over the NFWM command, vowed to crack down smuggling operations through coordination with the Bureau of Customs (BOC). The seized contrabands were properly turned over to the BOC district office here for proper documentation and filing of appropriate charges.

Source: Philippine Star