Navy seizes 1,359 tons of allegedly smuggled Vietnam rice off Zamboanga Sibugay
The Philippine Navy (PN) apprehended a foreign motor vessel transporting 1, 359 metric tons of allegedly smuggled Vietnamese rice off the waters of Zamboanga Sibugay last Saturday.
Ensign Jesca May Viduya, public affairs officer of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, said based on initial report the Mongolian-registered MV Diamond 8 was intercepted by the Philippine Navy in the vicinity of 15 nautical miles southwest off Olutanga Island, Zamboanga Sibugay around 10 pm.
Viduya said according to the initial investigation, the vessel is loaded with around 27,180 sacks of Vietnam rice with an estimated market value of P67, 950, 000 .
Viduya said MV Diamond 8, whose captain is identified as Lin Yang Yin, a Chinese national, has 15 crew members, 11 are Bangladesh and four are Chinese nationals.
“Also on board are 34 undocumented Filipinos of which one is a minor and 17 individuals that are subject for identification,” she said.
Viduya said investigation revealed :MV Diamond 8 unloaded more or less 7,000 to 8,000 sacks of rice to two motor vessels namely, MV Yssa Maine and MV Yousra.” Viduya said the Navy is looking for these two vessels.
Viduya said the Naval Forces Western Mindanao informed and coordinated the concern agencies including the Bureau of Customs, Department of Trade and Industry, Bureau of Immigration, PNP CIDG Region 9 and Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“MV Diamond 8 was escorted by PS 38 (BRP Mariano Alvarez) en route to Ensign Majini Pier (EMP), Naval Station Romulo Espaldon, Zamboanga City for further investigation, documentation of undocumented individuals on board and proper disposition,” she said. Robina Asido/DMS