Military troops intercepted a motorized bangka loaded with 38 sacks of ammonium nitrate in the waters off Simusa Island yesterday afternoon, March 14.
Personnel of 83rd and 84th Inshore Boat Companies, Inshore Boat Battalion, on a seaborne patrol at 5:45pm yesterday, intercepted the watercraft boarded by four passengers off Simusa Island en route to Basilan.
Initial investigation disclosed that the ammonium nitrate originated from Laminusa Island in Siasi, Sulu and would be transported to Basilan.
Marine troops towed the bangka towards the Tactical Command Post of Marine Battalion Landing Team-1 on Simusa Island for disposition.
Subject individuals were presented to Colonel Armel Tolato, Philippine Marine Ready Fleet Sulu Commander.
They will undergo a custodial debriefing at MBLT-1 TCP before their turnover to the Banguingui Municipal Police Station for disposition and filing of appropriate charges.
Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, commander of Western Mindanao Command, said naval and marine troops boost their maritime patrols to secure the waters of Western Mindanao.
“Sailors and marines operate in maritime areas of Western Mindanao to curb smuggling and other illegal activities that affect the security and development in Mindanao,” he added.