Coast Guard seizes P125 million worth of smuggled rice off Zamboanga Sibugay

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Zamboanga City (CNN Philippines, January 8) — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) seized around P125 million worth of smuggled rice in waters off Zamboanga Sibugay province.

PCG Western Mindanao Commander Ronnie Gil Gavan said they intercepted the M/V J-Phia, loaded with up to 150,000 sacks of suspected smuggled rice Sunday night.

PCG monitored the boat on their radar and intercepted the vessel 24 nautical miles off the coastline of Olutanga municipality, Zamboanga Sibugay at around 9:30pm.

The boat was apprehended after its crew failed to present shipment documents.

Authorities ordered the vessel to dock at the Zamboanga port where it is going through an investigation.

They are determining the exact number of sacks loaded in the vessel.

Gavan said based on initial data, the rice was loaded at the Sulu Sea from a bigger vessel.

Zamboanga Sibugay is over 95 kilometers away from Zamboanga City.