Officers from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Maritime Police, and the local government of Aparri, inspected four Chinese-named vessels that docked at the Port of Aparri on Thursday, February 13, for suspected black sand mining and possible risk of spreading the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to a PhilStar report, the team was deployed on Friday, February 14, to inspect the activities of the vessels Xiang Yueng Huo (Silk Road) 12, 13, 14, and 16, which are mastered by Violeto Batallones, Narceso Sales, Xu Meng Si, and Li Bin Hua, respectively.
Cagayan Governor Manuel Maramba noted in the report that the vessels’ crew members would undergo medical examination for possible COVID-19 infection. Moreover, he cited that the watercraft, which all originated from the Port of Sta. Cruz, Zambales are “dredger vessels.”
Mamba stated that the vessels are allegedly owned by the Riverfront Construction Inc.
Riverfront has been under the scrutiny of the Cagayan Provincial Board because of alleged black sand mining operations guised as dredging of the sea port in Aparri.