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BOTOLAN, ZAMBALES – Operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP), together with representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), seized over P1-million worth of fake cigarettes on Sunday afternoon in Barangay Santiago of this town.

Police Major Rolando Ballon, Botolan Municipal Police Station chief, said his men conducted a buy-bust operation along Zambales-Tarlac Road with the STG-ICP led by PLt. Niño Ryan Opinga and the DTI on a shipment of counterfeit cigarettes.

Arrested were suspects: Marlon Garcia y Tiglao, a 42-year-old resident of Angeles City; Felipe Valdez y Sangil, 39 years old from San Fernando, Pampanga; and Joryson Tawatao y De Dios, 43 years old and Melody Tawatao y Edquibal, 41 years old, both from Masinloc.

Seized from the four suspects were a white Mitsubishi FB; a gray Mitsubishi Hi-Ace van; 30 boxes of assorted cigarettes; and five reams of Fortune Blue cigarettes.

The cigarettes were estimated to be worth around P1,195,400.

The suspects and the contraband were brought to the Botolan MPS for custody while appropriate charges are being readied against them.

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