P2.2 billion worth of smuggled tobacco products seized during quarantine period — BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   August 19, 2020   •   717

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) said it has seized a total of P2.2 billion worth of smuggled cigarettes and other related paraphernalia from May 28 to July 15.

In its report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the BOC said the latest operations on July 12 at the Port of Davao yielded P53 million worth of cigarettes smuggled from Ningbo, China.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the shipment, initially declared as tissue paper, was consigned to Golden Aark Enterprise and transported by SITC Container Lines Philippines Inc. to the country.

The shipment, which was bound for Davao, first entered the country through the sub-port of the Mindanao Container Terminal in Misamis Oriental.

But when the cargo reached its final destination, the containers of smuggled cigarettes were not included in its inward foreign manifest despite other customs documents proving the existence of the shipment.

This discrepancy, along with information received by the BOC’s Intelligence Group regarding the suspected smuggled items, led customs officials to seize the shipment at the Port of Davao.

Guerrero said he has ordered the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) to investigate this new modus operandi in smuggling cigarettes into the country.

“Rest assured that the men and women of the Bureau of Customs will remain vigilant and committed in securing our country’s borders against smuggling and other customs fraud,” Guerrero said in his report.

Guerrero said the accreditation of Golden Aark has already been revoked and appropriate charges will be filed against the firm and its cohorts.

“From said circumstances, there is prima facie evidence that the carrier, SITC Container Lines Philippines, Incorporated, is abetting the consignee in concealing/smuggling the seized contraband in violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 10863 (Customs Modernization and Tariff Act),” Guerrero added.

On top of intensifying its campaign against smuggling amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the BOC said it has also been undertaking measures to facilitate and minimize disruption in the movement of critical medical equipment and supplies entering the ports since President Duterte put the entire country under a state of public health emergency in March.

Since March 25 up to May 31, the BOC said it has also confiscated P244 million-worth of smuggled, unregistered or counterfeit personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other medical supplies, as part of its ongoing efforts to stop the illegal importation, storage, and hoarding of goods deemed essential to the fight against COVID-19.

BOC seizes P17 million worth of smuggled agri, frozen food products

Robie de Guzman   •   October 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday said it has confiscated an estimated P17 million worth of smuggled agricultural and frozen food products in various operations.

In a statement, the BOC said that P2 million worth of frozen food products were seized in San Nicolas in Manila and P15 million in Caloocan City.

The items were confiscated on Oct. 15 in a simultaneous operations conducted by teams from the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) of Manila International Container Port (MICP), National Bureau of Investigation, and PCG Task Force Aduana.

The BOC said the operation was launched when the items arrived at the cold storage facilities.

In the initial inventory of the goods in San Nicolas Manila, the bureau said that hundreds of boxes of frozen Peking duck, shabu-shabu balls, dimsum, mushroom, Chinese sausage, and others were found.

On the other hand, frozen pork, chicken, fish, beef plus pork liver, fish skin, and others were found in Caloocan.

“Since other regulated imported foodstuff was found, a Letter of Authority was then issued by the Commissioner against the owners, representatives, and whoever is in possession of the imported goods found,” the bureau said.

On the same date, two containers initially declared as “frozen malt” were inspected and found out to contain smuggled onions.

The shipment that arrived at Port of Cagayan de Oro was consigned to South Road Consumer Goods Trading.

Meanwhile, on October 18 at the same port, another examination of two containers consigned to Glimmer Cape Food Products Trading said to contain seasoning, was conducted resulting in the discovery of onions.

The subject goods shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture proceedings in violation of Section 1113 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, the BOC said.

P3 million worth of smuggled onions seized in Cagayan

Robie de Guzman   •   October 19, 2021

Two containers filled with onions allegedly smuggled from China were confiscated at the Port of Cagayan de Oro, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a news release on Monday, the BOC said the containers were seized last October 15.

The shipment, which was consigned to South Road Consumer Goods Trading, arrived in Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) Sub-port in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

The BOC said the containers were declared to contain “frozen malt” but was later found to be onions when subjected to physical examination.

The bureau said the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS-CDO) Field Station led by IO1 Oliver Valiente was alerted of the shipment after receiving derogatory information for possibly containing smuggled goods.

A Warrant of Seizure and Detention was already recommended for issuance against the smuggled shipment, it added.

Atty. Elvira Cruz, District Collector of the Port of Cagayan de Oro commended the vigilance of the customs personnel against smuggled vegetables which have been affecting local farmers as the influx of cheap agricultural products in the market significantly reduce their income.

Last September, the BOC said the Port of Cagayan de Oro destroyed P13.5 million worth of smuggled onions from China.

BOC seized P4.80M worth of smuggled cigarettes

Maris Federez   •   October 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday announced that the elements of its Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) and Enforcement and Security Service-Customs Police Division (ESS-CPD) intercepted two motorized wooden watercraft on Friday (Oct. 8).

The BOC said the operation was conducted in coordination with the Philippine National Police’s 2nd Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company (PNP ZCMFC).

The two watercraft, locally called “Jungkong”, were loaded with assorted smuggled cigarettes with an estimated value of ₱4,795,000.

The Customs said that during the interception, the watercraft with body mark M/V Mernalyn Z was found to be loaded with more or less 50 master cases of assorted smuggled cigarettes.

Another watercraft with the body mark M/J AZ-ZHAHIR was loaded with an estimated eighty-seven (87) master cases of the same smuggled articles.

In total, 137 master cases of smuggled cigarettes were seized from both vessels, according to the BOC.

Customs authorities said the watercraft and smuggled cigarettes shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture proceeding under Section 1113 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA). —/mbmf


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