CURRIMAO, Ilocos Norte, Dec. 9(PIA) – – Philippine Coast Guard authorities have assured tight security on the impounded Taiwanese vessel loaded with large volume of cigarettes at Currimao seaport here.
Petty Officer 2 Michael Guray, acting deputy commander of the Currimao PCG station, said on Friday that the foreign vessel and its seven crew members remained under their custody while the Bureau of Customs (BOC) is validating the authenticity of the documents of the confiscated cigarettes.
“The anchored ship will remain in our custody while waiting further official order from the BOC,” he said.
Record showed that the Taiwanese fishing vessel loaded with more or less 2,000 boxes of cigarettes was impounded last November 19, 2014 after the BOC found out that the cigarettes have no shipping documents.
Among the cigarette brands inventoried inside the ship were MM (black packed) charcoal and MM (white packed) charcoal, all made in Europe; and Golden Bridge, PRC and Dubliss, all made in China.
The crew members were identified as Chen Yonj, Chen Dali, Lin Lin Jyh, all Taiwanese nationals; Narun, Nurkholik, Dedi Ariyanto and Candra Natari, all Indonesian nationals.
Meanwhile, Laoag-based lawyer Josephus Nerez, legal counsel of the ship owner – Bumijaya International Trading Company, Inc., said his client’s cigarette shipment was considered legal as it has bill of lading documents. (Freddie G. Lazaro and Mark Anthony Corpuz)