Coast Guard apprehends ship loaded with 50K bags of smuggled rice off Sulu


The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has intercepted a cargo vessel loaded with some 50,000 bags of smuggled rice off Tonquil Island, Sulu.

Personnel of PCG’s BRP San Agustin or the Multi-Role Response Vessel MRRV 4408 sighted an anchored cargo vessel, which was later identified as MV Hulk, while conducting maritime security operation at Bulan Island on November 16.

Lt. Jeffrey R. Collado, commanding officer of MRRV 4408, immediately dispatched a team to conduct high risk board and search and discovered at least 50,000 undocumented bags of rice loaded in the ship.

PCG said the apprehended vessel encountered engine trouble and shut down while heading to Zamboanga City. MV Hulk’s home port is Cagayan de Oro City and is registered under Key West Shipping Lines Corporation.

Two MRRVs towed the cargo steel-hull vessel to Zamboanga City.

“The apprehended vessel is temporarily under the custody of MRRV 4408 and MRRV 4410 waiting for Bureau of Customs’ inspection and for its proper disposition,” PCG said.