The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Station Basih-Balan has seized 16 BOXES OF SMUGGLED CIGARETTES with an ESTIMATED MARKET VALUE OF ₱625,000 on board jungkong-type boat, MPB KUMALAH at the vicinity waters off Lamitan City, Basilan on 02 August 2021.

PCG Station Basih-Balan Commander, Commander Havelino Salih launched an anti-smuggling operations after receiving an intelligence report that a boat carrying undocumented cargoes will be offloaded at Barangay Matibay, Lamitan City.

Said operations led to the confiscation of several boxes of smuggled cigarettes and apprehension of four crew members of MPB KUMALAH who were found unloading the cargoes.

The smuggled items and suspects were brought to the PCG Sub-Station Lamitan for inspection, inventory, and profiling. 

Upon investigation, the Vessel Safety Enforcement Inspection (VSEI) team discovered that MPB KUMALAH (0.33 gross tonnage) departed from Jolo, Sulu bound for Lamitan City, Basilan.

Said boat possessed valid vessel certificates, but lacked proper markings which was a violation of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Memorandum Circular Number 2017 – 001 concerning the PCG’s implementation of Safety, Security, and Environmental Numbering (SSEN) System for watercraft under three gross tonnages.

The PCG Station Basih-Balan, PCG K9 team, and Maritime Police in Lamitan turned over the smuggled goods to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for documentation before its destruction and disposal.

The apprehended boat remained under the custody of the PCG Station Basih-Balan, while the BOC handled the filing of appropriate charges against the suspects.

The PCG Station Basih-Balan is an interim station in Basilan under the operational and administrative control of the PCG district in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).