The Bureau of Customs-Port of Zamboanga destroyed at least P 245.8 million worth of smuggled cigarettes at Fast Cargo Logistics Baliwasan, Zamboanga City.
District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Z. Barte Jr. who led the destruction of the smuggled cigarettes, said the confiscated cigarettes were placed outside the fast cargo warehouse where 40-ton forklift equipment crushed the said cigarettes after it was drenched in water.
Barte said that the destruction of these contrabands is pursuant to the instruction of Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero to destroy smuggled cigarettes once the final decree of forfeiture is rendered.
This is also part of the agency’s drive to combat smuggling and will serve as a warning to smugglers to stop their illegal activities, Barte added.
Barte thanked all law enforcement agencies in the city for their continuous support in the anti-smuggling drive of the Bureau of Customs.
He also extolled the City Government Mayor Beng Climaco thru Councilor Josephine Pareja who provided the equipment, dump trucks and the access to the sanitary landfill. Councilors Pareja and John Dalipe were also witnessed the said destruction.d
The crushed cigarettes were then disposed at the City Sanitary Landfill, Brgy.Salaan, Zamboanga City.
Over at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, customs officials destroyed two tons of seized smuggled medicines and meat products at Trece Martires in Cavite.
Included in the comdemned items were 350 kilos of unregistered medicines seized for lack of necessary clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said to be unsafe for human consumption.
NAIA District Collector Carmelita Talusan said the condemnation of the unregistered medicines is part of Bureau of Customs border protection initiatives to protect the public against unsafe medicines.
The medicines were destroyed along with expired food stuff and meat products, also imported without health clearance from the government.
The unsafe smuggled items were condemned using the Themal Decomposer (Pyrolysis) Facility of the Integrated Waste Management Inc. located in Trece Martires City.
The thermal decomposer will ensure the safety and no single waste item will find its way to the market.
The condemnation was made in close coordination with with Food and Drug Administration, Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Industry, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and Commission on Audit.
“This is in compliance with Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero’s directives to continue to protect the country against entry of illegal goods and importations that are not compliant to Customs regulations,” said Talusan.