By Edwin Fernandez

IMPOUNDED. A cargo truck loaded with smuggled cigarettes is now impounded at the municipal police station compound of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao del Sur after being found transporting illegal cigarettes on Sunday (Feb. 4, 2024). The driver and his two helpers were also arrested. (Photo courtesy of Sultan Kudarat MPS)

SULTAN KUDARAT, Maguindanao Norte – Acting on a tip, police authorities arrested three persons here Sunday afternoon and seized from them a cargo truck loaded with some PHP2.7 million worth of smuggled cigarettes.

Lt. Col. Esmael Madin, municipal police station commander, identified the suspects as John Rex Paglinawan of South Upi, Maguindanao del Sur; Jason Lanoria, 30, of Parang, Maguindanao Norte; Abubakar Nawal of Talayan, also of Maguindanao del Sur.

The cargo truck was heading toward Cotabato City when flagged down by the police at a checkpoint in Barangay Dalumangcob, Sultan Kudarat town at 2 p.m.

Madin said 150 boxes of Berlin brand smuggled cigarettes were seized from the suspects, who earlier declared the truck was loaded with palay and corn grains.

They are now detained at the Sultan Kudarat PNP custodial facility while charges are being prepared against them. (PNA)