MANILA, Jan. 31 -- The Bureau of Customs (BOC) - Port of Zamboanga (POZ) has seized PHP18.6 million worth of smuggled onions in a vessel in Zamboanga City last week.

In a statement Tuesday, the port said it has intercepted 5,611 mesh bags of imported red onions with an estimated market value of PHP8.5 million and 2,249 mesh bags of imported white onions valued at PHP10.1 million during a maritime patrol operation in Barangay Ayala, Zamboanga City on Jan. 25.

The onions are loaded in a vessel marked "MV Princess Nurdisza," which allegedly came from Taganak, Tawi-Tawi province are bound for Barangay Baliwasan.

It added that the crew failed to provide a Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance from the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Bu...