BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) intercepted a boat loaded with a total of 125 sacks of hazardous ammonium nitrate and four styro boxes of smuggled cigarettes during a hot pursuit at vicinity waters off Malampaya Gas Platform, morning of 04 July 2021.
Philippine Coast Guard Station (CGS) El Nido received a report from personnel of El Nido Municipal Police Station that a missing fishing banca named JUN JERALF painted with green freeboard with three crew members onboard was last reported conducting fishing along waters off Malampaya and failed to return on 03 July 2021.
CGS El Nido then established coordination with BRP Cabra and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Monitor, Control and Surveillance (BFAR MCS) vessel 3002 to launch a search for the missing boat.
While vessels were conducting joint search, Littoral Monitoring Station (LMS) Lalutaya communicated through radio informing that the reported fishing banca has corrected its derangement while at sea and already moored safely at Barangay Bucana in El Nido.
PCG and BFAR vessels advised all sighted small motorized vessels in the area to return to El Nido Port or their respective residence in order not to compromise their safety due to bad weather condition prevailing in the area.
BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) sighted a boat identified as M/B ESCARIO EXPRESS A proceeding towards the waters off Malampaya Gas Platform.
As the Coast Guard approached the boat, it was found to be more suspicious that it might be carrying contrabands as it started to speed up and immediately fled the area.
After the hot pursuit that lasted for more than 25 minutes, subject motorbanca was finally intercepted by the Coast Guard authorities.
Joint inspection team of CGS El Nido, PCG K9, and BFAR MCS 3002 departed El Nido Jetty Port to conduct boarding inspection to the intercepted motorbanca.
The authorities found the boat to have styro boxes filled with smuggled cigarettes and sacks positively identified containing ammonium nitrate after a paneling inspection conducted by PCG's Working Dog "Fellow".
After conduct of initial safety inspection, the vessel was also found with no possession of any pertinent documents.