PCG foils rice smuggling in Zamboanga Sibugay
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Sunday intercepted a cargo vessel loaded with 60,000 sacks of smuggled rice with a combined market value of P120 million around 25 nautical miles Southwest off Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay.
MV J-Phia, a Philippine-flagged cargo ship with 18 crew, including the master, was found carrying thousands of sacks of rice without the necessary documents onboard.
Joint units from the Special Operations Unit, Coast Guard K9 Team onboard PCG vessels, DF-314 and BRP Tubbataha (MRRV 4401) stopped MV J-Phia after they were alerted that it was transporting a cargo transferred from a foreign vessel somewhere in the Sulu Sea.
The ship captain said their last port call was Cagayan De Oro but failed to show any records of the vessel’s departure. The PCG units in Cagayan De Oro disclosed that the vessel had no record of departure in their area of responsibility.
The PCG vessels escorted MV J-Phia to Zamboanga Port for proper disposition for filing a possible case of smuggling.
The PCG and the Bureau of Customs will initiate forfeiture proceedings of MV J-Phia and file the appropriate case against its crew members.
MV J-Phia, with 50,242 gross tonnage and overall length of 282 meters is owned and operated by Isaj Sea transport Corporation and skippered by Capt. Rogelio Necessario. #