P12.92-B worth of smuggled goods seized from January to October – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   November 21, 2019   •   1126

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday reported it has confiscated around P12.92 billion worth of smuggled goods from January to October this year.

In a statement, the BOC said most of these items were illegal drugs, counterfeit goods, and cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Customs Commissioner Rey Guerrero said the BOC was able to intercept the entry of shabu shipments worth P2.96 billion in three separate incidents, while other illegal substances worth P151.74 million were also seized during the January to October period.

In a report submitted to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Guerrero said that as of October 24, the bulk of the goods seized were mostly fake products worth P7.81 billion, which were intercepted in 14 separate incidents in various ports.

Guerrero also reported during a recent Department of Finance (DOF) Executive Committee (Execom) meeting that the BOC also confiscated cigarettes and other tobacco products valued at P1.69 billion, along with P107.59 million worth of agricultural products.

The other seized goods were vehicles and accessories worth P67.25 million; used clothing valued at P54.66 million; steel products, P12.61 million; general merchandise valued at P9.39 million; and other products, P58.20 million.

Guerrero said that as of October this year, the BOC has also filed 20 cases against illegal operations that impede the bureau’s revenue collections and revoked the accreditation of 16o importers and 20 brokers in line with its anti-corruption campaign.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Internal Revenue reported during the DOF meeting its efforts to improve tax administration with the temporary closure of 567 establishments from January to September this year under its Oplan Kandado program.

BIR deputy commissioner Arnel Guballa said this represents a 346.45 percent increase over the 127 closures the bureau had implemented in the previous year.

“As a result, the BIR was able to collect P798.7 million in taxes from the delinquent establishments over the January-October 2019 period,” Guballa said.

“The amount is P444.9 million or 125.75 percent higher than the previous year’s collections of P353.8 million under the Oplan Kandado program,” he added.

P30 million worth of fake flu meds seized in warehouses in Parañaque – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2022

Counterfeit of popular medicine brands worth at least P30 million were confiscated at two storage areas in Parañaque City, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement, the BOC said an operation launched on January 5, 2022 yielded the seizure of counterfeit medicines such as Biogesic, Neozep, Bioflu, Immunpro, Ivermectin, Phenokinon F Injection, Medicol, Planax, Alaxan FR, MX3 and others.

Customs said that certification from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Unilab Pharmaceuticals, the makers of paracetamol brand Biogesic, stated that the said medicines were counterfeit.

The operation was conducted by the BOC with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), Intelligence Service Armed Forces Of the Philippines (ISAFP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

“We received reports about the presence of counterfeit items. It’s not just items, but medicines. We acted on this immediately because this can pose a health threat. They are selling these to unsuspecting people whose only hope is to buy authentic medicines for themselves and their loved ones,” said Raniel Ramiro, Customs Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence Group.

The BOC said the counterfeit medicines were packed in cartons with tags bearing foreign characters. They were found in two storages at 7434B and 7434C Highland St., Marcelo Green Village and 27 Pearl St., Severina Subdivision, Km 18, Brgy. Marcelo, both in Paranaque City.

The seized items were immediately hauled to the BOC premises, though the inspection and inventory are still ongoing.

The team, composed of members of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service at the Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP), PDEA-IIS, NICA, ISAFP and the PCG, nabbed the suspect identified as Adel Rajput, a 31-year old Pakistani national, a resident of Caloocan City.

The BOC said the suspect was brought to the Paranaque City Prosecutors’ Office for an inquest.

He will face various cases for violation of Sec. 1401 (Unlawful Importation/Exportation), Sec. 1113 (Property Subject to Seizure and Forfeiture) paragraph (l) (5) in relation to Sec. 118 (Prohibited Importation and Exportation) paragraph (e) of the CMTA, and the violation of Republic Act No. 8293 (Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and its Pertinent Rules and Regulations).

“His visa will be under a revocation process by the Bureau of Immigration,” Customs said.

Last November 24, 2021, BOC said it also confiscated fake medicines bearing names of popular brands such as Alaxan, Tuseran Forte, Propan, and Diatabs with an estimated value of P50 million from a warehouse in Pasig City.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero lamented how these businesses are operating during this time when the public is facing difficulties in purchasing anti-flu medicines amid the surge in COVID-19.

“It is sad how these criminals are using the pandemic for their own gain, especially when it comes to medicines. These are medicines that people thought will relieve them of their pain, their conditions. It is unforgivable that these individuals are using people’s desperation to earn money,” he said.

The Department of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry earlier assured that there was no shortage in supply of some medicine brands, and that pharmacies only experienced temporary stockout due to “overwhelming demand.”

BOC-NAIA halts illegal trade of bearded dragon, tegu lizards declared as children’s toys

Maris Federez   •   January 5, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs Port of NAIA on Wednesday (January 5) announced the seizure of two (2) parcels containing 22 bearded dragons and 6 Argentine black and white lizards from Samutprakarn, Thailand, in the BOC NAIA Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC), Pasay City.

In a statement, the BOC reported that it conducted the seizure of the said wildlife, which has an estimated market value of P210,000, in December 2021.

The Customs bureau said that both parcels, declared as “children’s toys”, were shipped by a certain ‘Anuphop Wilit’ and were sent to certain individuals allegedly addressed in Paranaque City.

Customs-NAIA personnel subjected the parcels to x-ray and 100% physical examination which led to the discovery of live bearded dragons and tegus.

Said parcel shipments were subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 1113 of RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act in relation to Section 117 and RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, the statement said.

The seized lizards were immediately turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Wildlife Monitoring Unit for proper handling and safekeeping pursuant to Customs Administrative Order No. 10-2020.

Smuggled spiders inside mail intercepted in Pasay – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   December 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Illegally imported spiders were seized by authorities in Pasay City, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement released on Thursday, the BOC said the smuggled spiders were intercepted in the Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC).

Customs said the spiders were imported from Poland and consigned to an addressee from Olongapo City.

They were concealed in a postal envelope with scraps of paper and declared as origami.

When the package was inspected through x-ray scanning and physical examination, it was found to contain 10 pieces of smuggled spiders estimated to have a value of P75,000.00.

The BOC said the claimant was arrested by its NAIA Enforcement and Security Service Environmental Protection Compliance Division for violation of Section 1401 in relation to Republic Act (RA) 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

The BOC said the apprehended claimant has been turned over to the Philippine National Police for inquest proceedings.

The seized spiders, on the other hand, were turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit (DENR WTMU) pursuant to Customs Administrative Order No. 10-2020, it added.

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