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Navy apprehends foreign ship loaded with smuggled rice

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The Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) apprehended a foreign vessel transporting tons of alleged smuggled Vietnam rice, some 15 nautical miles Southwest off Olutanga Island, Zamboanga Sibugay late Saturday evening.

The vessel, MV Diamond 8, was reportedly loaded with more or less 27,180 sacks or 1,359 metric tons of Vietnam rice worth P67,950,000 million,  according to a press release from the NFWM Public Affairs Office.

In a statement, Rear Admiral Rene Medina, NFWM commander,  said the apprehended foreign motor vessel is a Mongolian registered vessel with 15 crew members -- 11 Bangladesh and 4 Chinese nationals.

The ship captain was identified as Lin  Yang Yin, a Chinese national, said Medina.

"Also on board are 34 undocumented Filipinos of which 1 is a minor and 17 individuals that are subject for identification," he added.

According to Medina, prior to the operation, a joint intelligence information and monitoring had been established by the Littoral Monitoring System Pilas (LMS Pilas) and MSAC-WM under the operational control of NFWM to facilitate the rescue and assistance operation for the unresponsive vessel believed to be harassed by terrorist groups on Saturday,  April 14 at 7p.m..

Medina said upon verification of the information, he directed the Naval Forces Task Force 61 for an intensified maritime patrol and introduction operation in the area after the suspicious movement made by the unknown foreign vessel.

"The successful foiling of the illegal transport of smuggled tons of rice is a result of an intensified and houses maritime patrol and operation of the Philippine Navy," Medina said.  Hader Glang




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