A boat loaded with sacks of ammonium nitrate and boxes of smuggled cigarettes was seized in the vicinity waters off Malampaya Gas Platform in Palawan, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.
The PCG said the BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) intercepted the boat carrying a total of 25 sacks of ammonium nitrate and four styro boxes of smuggled cigarettes during a hot pursuit on July 4.
While the PCG and BFAR were advising other small motorized vessels to return to El Nido Port or their respective residences due to the bad weather in the area, BRP Cabra spotted a boat identified as M/B Escario Express A proceeding towards the waters off Malampaya Gas Platform.
“As the Coast Guard approached the boat, it was found to be more suspicious that it might be carrying contrabands as it started to speed up and immediately fled the area,” the PCG said.
“After the hot pursuit that lasted for more than 25 minutes, subject motorbanca was finally intercepted by the Coast Guard authorities,” it added.
When joint inspection team of CGS El Nido, PCG K9, and BFAR MCS 3002 conducted boarding inspection, authorities found the boat to have styro boxes filled with smuggled cigarettes and sacks positively identified containing ammonium nitrate.
After conduct of initial safety inspection, the PCG said that the vessel was also found with no possession of any pertinent documents.