By Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has discovered PHP90 million worth of smuggled sugar and cigarettes at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).
Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio led the physical examination of five shipments containing PHP90 million worth of smuggled sugar and cigarettes at the MICP.
In a statement on Saturday, the BOC said that the inspection conducted on Feb. 17 was the first to be led by newly appointed Customs chief Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio
The BOC said the containers, which arrived between Jan. 5, 2023, and Feb. 12, 2023, contained an estimated PHP90,442,850 worth of smuggled items.
The Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-MICP recommended the issuance of alert orders (AOs) after receiving derogatory information about the shipments — three of which were from Hong Kong, while two were from China.
Also present during the inspection were BOC Intelligence Group Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy and Manila International Container Port District Collector Arnoldo Famor.
According to Uy, the agency had been “actively monitoring” information about shipments that possibly contain smuggled goods in an intensified effort to curb the entry of contraband and illegal products into the country.
“We cannot stress it enough: it is unlawful to bring products into the Philippines without the proper permits. By now, these unscrupulous groups should understand the severity of our non-stop campaign against their illegal activities,” he said.
He said corresponding seizure and forfeiture proceedings will be conducted against the subject shipments for violation of Section 1113 (Goods Liable for Seizure and Forfeiture) in relation to Section 117 (Regulated Goods) of Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), Republic Act 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, Sugar Regulatory Administration rules and regulations, and National Tabacco Administration rules and regulations.
Likewise, the case records will be immediately referred to the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers for case build-up and the filing of corresponding criminal cases against those responsible for the illegal importation of agricultural and tobacco products for violation of Section 1401 (Unlawful Importation) of the CMTA, and the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016. (PNA)