Sulu Vice Governor Abdusakur Tan has denied allegations he is involved in rice smuggling even as sources of the Philippine Daily Inquirer point to his family as one of the owners of the Vietnam rice haul recently seized by the authorities.
“I have no knowledge about that and I do not need to engage in smuggling,” Tan told Inquirer over the phone.
On Monday, authorities led by the Philippine Navy the seized 151,000 sacks of rice smuggled inside five vessels traveling off Pata Island in Sulu. Around 116,000 sacks of imported rice were consigned to a certain Alfarsi Tan Hasiman of Jolo.
The shipment is worth an estimated P151 million. The crew of the vessels have been taken into custody.
Customs Deputy Commissioner Jessie Dellosa said top Sulu politicians owned the smuggled rice but refused to give details about their identities.