By Priam Nepomuceno

BUSTED. Navy personnel escort crew members of a motorized banca intercepted off Barangay Batulaki, Glan, Sarangani on March 30, 2024. The boat was caught carrying 1,070 master cases of smuggled cigarettes worth PHP21.4 million. (Photo courtesy of Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao)

MANILA – The Philippine Navy (PN) on Monday reported that one of its multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC) intercepted a motorized banca containing undocumented cigarettes with an estimated value of PHP21.4 million, while patrolling the waters of Batulaki, Glan, Sarangani during the Holy Week.

The MPAC with bow number BA-492 that made the interception on March 30 is part of the 4th Boat Attack Division, which is under the operational control of Naval Task Force 71, Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao.

“The crew of BA-492 noticed a radar contact which upon their confirmation was a motorized boat. Further observation revealed that it was acting suspiciously, prompting the Navy MPAC to chase and interdict said vessel,” the PN said in a social media post

Upon boarding and inspection of the motorized banca, 17 crew members were found onboard together with the 1,070 cases of undocumented tobacco products.

“BA-492 then escorted the watercraft carrying the seized goods, along with its 17 crew, to DOLEPHIL Pier, General Santos City for their turnover to proper authorities,” the PN said. (PNA)