Gov’t seizes 1,359 MT of smuggled rice in Zamboanga
A foreign cargo vessel — led by 15 Chinese and Bangladeshi crew — carrying 1,359 metric tons (MT) of rice with an estimated market value of P67 million was apprehended by Naval forces in Zamboanga, a report showed.
Rear Admiral Rene Medina, commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM), said in a report in Philippine Star that a crew of 11 Bangladesh and four Chinese led by its skipper Lin Yang Yin were arrested in their failed attempt to smuggle 27,180 sacks of Vietnam rice weighing 1,359 metric tons.
The government likewise apprehended 51 Filipino laborers aboard the cargo ship M/V Diamond 8, of Mongolian registry.
“Authorities found that MV Diamond 8 had already unloaded some 8,000 sacks of smuggled rice onto two vessels identified as M/V Yssa Maine and M/V Yousra. Both managed to sail away before the arrival of the Navy ship,” the report said.
The arrival of the smuggled rice happened while the government rushes the importation of rice that will fill the already depleted stocks of National Food Authority (NFA).
The first tranche of new stocks, which will likely be imported from Thailand or Vietnam, is expected to arrive in May.