By Alexander Lopez

SMUGGLED CIGARETTES. The PHP2.9 million worth of smuggled cigarettes confiscated by police operatives in the Caraga Region in a series of operations conducted in Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Norte provinces on Wednesday (April 24, 2024). The two arrested suspects will face charges for violating Republic Act No. 8424 or the Tax Reform Act 1997. (Photo courtesy of PRO-13)

BUTUAN CITY – Authorities arrested two suspects and seized PHP2.9 million worth of smuggled cigarettes in a series of operations conducted in Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Norte provinces, the Police Regional Office in the Caraga Region (PRO-13) said Thursday.

The PRO-13 said operatives from the Regional Intelligence Division 1, the Army’s 401st Infantry Brigade, the Bureau of Internal Revenue-13 (BIR-13), and local police stations separately arrested “Mal,” 60, in Barobo, Surigao del Sur; and “Pen,” in Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte, on Wednesday.

“May these feats serve as a stern warning that we will not tolerate any illegal activities, including smuggling of cigarettes,” PRO-13 director, Brig. Gen. Kirby Jogn Kraft, said in a statement Thursday.

Confiscated from the two suspects were a total of 8,481 reams of different brands of smuggled cigarettes.

The suspects are now under the custody of the local police stations and will be charged with violations of Republic Act No. 8424 or the Tax Reform Act of 1997.

Kraft said the confiscated smuggled cigarettes were immediately turned over for custody to the BIR-13 for proper disposition. (PNA)