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P67M smuggled rice intercepted

By Francis T. Wakefield

The Armed Forces of the Philippines- Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) through the Naval Forces in Western Mindanao apprehended on Saturday a foreign motor vessel illegally transporting tons of smuggled rice 15 nautical miles Southwest off Olutanga Island, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Authorities identified the vessel as MV Diamond 8, a ship registered in Mongolia with 15 crew members, 11 of them from Bangladesh and four from China.

Also on board are 34 undocumented Filipinos including a minor and 17 others individuals subject for identification.

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

Based on the investigation, the ship was carrying more or less 27,180 sacks of Vietnam rice weighing 1,359 metric tons and with an estimated market value of R67,950,000 when intercepted.

It was found out later the MV Diamond 8 already unloaded more or less 7,000 to 8,000 sacks of rice to two separate boats namely the MV Yssa Maine and the MV Yousra.

MV Diamond 8 was escorted by the navy to the Zamboanga City pier for further investigation.

Search is still ongoing for the MV Yssa Maine and the MV Yousra.