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MAASIN CITY, May 11 (PIA) -- A composite team of police elements and healthy city enforcers (HCI) raided a store Friday for violation of a city ordinance that prohibits the selling of cigarettes and confiscated stocks worth some P400,000 in assorted brands.

It was the same store ordered closed on February 7, 2020, for a similar offense, the closure order personally served by Mayor Nacional Mercado at that time.

The raid and seizure came at a time when everyone’s attention is focused on fighting the global pandemic coronavirus disease, a clear illustration that even as the city LGU continues to do its best to mitigate the virus’ socio-economic ill-effects, implementation of the usual programs goes on.

Charged for violation of city ordinance number 2009-042, the Smoke-Free Ordinance, was Shirley Angeles Lim, 49, businesswoman, resident of barangay Panan-awan.

Her outlet, SJL Enterprises, was located in barangay Tunga-tunga, at the back of Saint Joseph College (SJC) high school quadrangle.

The inventory listed nearly a thousand reams and packs of various brands of cigarettes the raiding police team, led by PCol. Mark Nalda, chief of police, and HCI enforcers headed by Christopher Plateros, took off and kept in boxes at the HCI office.

City Vice Mayor Maloney Samaco said the cancellation of business and closure would be the immediate consequence imposed, while a criminal case for smuggling may be considered as the seized items have no Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) seals.

Maasin city has consistently reaped national awards for strictly implementing a smoking ban on its citizens and business establishments, in which the raid last week was by far the biggest haul in one single operation. (mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)