The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) assisted in the apprehension of nine passengers of MV ASIAN STAR II who bribed their way of boarding said vessel, instead of providing negative RT-PCR test results, as required by existing local ordinances amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic today, 26 May 2021.

The unauthorized passengers embarked the passenger vessel at the Port of Jolo in Sulu enroute to Zamboanga City International Port (ZCIP).

Investigation revealed that they gave Php 2,000 to the oiler of MV ASIAN STAR II so they may be allowed to cross borders, even without the mandatory negative RT-PCR test results.

The following were the unauthorized passengers who were apprehended at the ZCIP and were carefully turned over to the City Tourism Office (CTO) of Zamboanga for health check-up and background checking:

1. Alviner Ahmad – 20, M

2. Mudzmar Nixon – 27, M

3. Marhama Bakil – 28, F

4. Raina Bakil – 29, F

5. Naima Sabdani – 30, F

6. Merlinda Jala – 42, F

7. Romy Ahmad – 50, M

8. Romy Sabdani – 61, M

9. Habibon Jalah – 63, M

Said individuals were informed that they violated Zamboanga City Executive Order No. BC-656-2021 or "An Act Declaring a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine in Zamboanga City and Providing Guidelines for its Implementation", dated 05 May 2021.

The CTO of Zamboanga directed the violators to return to Jolo, Sulu tonight (own expense) on board the same passenger vessel.

They were also reminded about the possible harmful effect of their violation as one of them might be a carrier of the contagious virus, thereby endangering the lives of Zamboanga City residents.

The operation was made successful through the cooperation of the PCG, Coast Guard Intelligence Group – Southwestern Mindanao, Special Operation Unit – Southwestern Mindanao, CTO of Zamboanga, City Health Office of Zamboanga, Port Police, Zamboanga City Maritime Police, Task Force Zamboanga, and Marine Battalion Landing Team – 11.