The Bureau of Customs-Port of Cagayan de Oro and members of Subgroup on Economic Intelligence from Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) busted 18 containers of smuggled “red onions” estimated to be worth 50 million pesos during a spot-check inspection on November 8-9, 2021 in Mindanao Container Terminal Sub-Port, Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.
The 18 containers consigned to R2H Trading arrived in Mindanao Container Terminal on November 3, 2021, from China aboard the vessel MV NORDMAAS and was declared to contain “acidified cream”, “smoked crawfish (rock lobster)”, “curdled cream milk”, “bread improver (non-dairy creamer)”, “flavored nuts (including pulp and jams)”, “crustaceans” and “breaded shrimp” which later found out to contain red onions during the physical examination.
Conducting the physical examination were Customs Examiner Rodil Flancia and Jover Umpar and witnessed by IO1 Oliver Valiente, Chief, CIIS-CDO Field Station, Atty. Roswald Joseph Pague, Deputy Collector for Administration, representatives from ESS, CCBI, Subgroup on Economic Intelligence representatives from DA 10, DTI 10, and NICA 10.
After receiving derogatory information against the shipment, Valiente has requested District Collector Atty. Elvira Cruz to conduct a spot-check inspection suspecting that the shipment contains smuggled goods.
During a press conference, DA Assistant Secretary for Economic Intelligence Federico Laciste Jr. said they coordinated with the Bureau of Customs after receiving a report about the smuggled shipment and he thanked the BOC for the immediate action.
DA also confirmed that they have not issued a Sanitary Phytosanitary Import Clearance for the said shipment.
“Hindi dumaan sa facilitation guidelines natin yan kung wala silang papers na ganun automatic health hazard that is why hindi natin pwedeng i donate, ipamigay o gamitin ng tao hindi siya sayang for the reason na health hazard siya,” said Asec Laciste Jr.
The Bureau of Customs also confirmed that the accreditation of the importer is already non-existent since November 2020.
“Hindi na existing yung accreditation niya and we will do further investigations, backtrack with the previous shipments of the said consignee,” said Valiente.
Sub-port Collector John Simon also lauded the inter-agency members of the Subgroup on Economic Intelligence represented by DA, BOC, DTI, and NICA.
“Vigilance and inter-agency cooperation are very important information shared to vital agencies so that we can protect our economy and farmers,” said Collector Simon.
District Collector Cruz already warned the agricultural smugglers to stop their unscrupulous acts which deprived the government of lawful revenues and disrupts the agricultural industry in Northern Mindanao.
The consignee will possibly face violations of the provisions of RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.