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18 April 2024, 02:01 AM

BOC seizes P23.8-M worth of smuggled refined sugar at MICP

January 14, 2023

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized P23,847,000 worth of smuggled imported refined sugar from Hong Kong at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) amid the agency’s intensified crackdown against the smuggling of agricultural products.

The shipment was initially declared to contain insulators, surge arresters, slipper outsoles, and Styrene Butadiene rubber from Hong Kong consigned to Burias Jang Consumer Goods Trading.

Upon physical examination on January 11, examiners found refined sugar
(MTRL PHOL – Thailand and GULA EPX PRAI BRAND – Malaysia).

Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz lamented the continuous attempts by smugglers to bring undeclared agricultural products into the country.

At the same time, Ruiz lauded the BOC’s teamwork with other government agencies.

“Our targeted examinations and close work with the DA (Department of Agriculture) and their attached agencies yielded significant quantities of smuggled agricultural products these recent months and helped protect Philippines agriculture from the economic impact smuggling carries,” the commissioner said.

The operation began on December 2, 2022, after the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-MICP (CIIS-MICP) under Intelligence Officer 3 Alvin Enciso requested the issuance of an Alert Order (AO) on a shipment consigned to Burias Jang Consumer Goods Trading.

The Office of District Collector – MICP issued the AO on December 6, 2022, based on the information that the shipment was “suspected of containing agricultural products, misdeclared and undeclared items.”

“These past months, the agency has faced a significant amount of attempts to traffic prohibited items, including agricultural products, into the country despite the work being done by our dedicated team. Smuggling these items is a serious offense, but these recent operations by the bureau demonstrate the lengths smugglers will go to for their financial gain,” Customs Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy said.

For CIIS Director Jeoffrey Tacio, using multiple law enforcement tools enabled Customs officers “to stop these horrible acts.”

“Their vigilance and attention to detail led to this significant seizure. We will look at working with agencies more to bring these perpetrators to justice,” he said.

Officials from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), led by Director General Moro Virgilio Lazo, were also at the site of the inspection after derogatory information reached both agencies that the shipment consigned to Burias Jang Consumer Goods Trading could contain illegal drugs.

The shipment is currently undergoing PDEA K9 paneling and a small baggage x-ray.

Aside from PDEA officials, BOC-CIIS officials, led by Tacio and Enciso, Customs examiner, Enforcement Security Service (ESS), DA – Task Force BBM, and Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc. (CCBI) representative were also present.

The subject shipment shall undergo seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Sec. 1400 (misdeclaration in goods declaration) in relation to Sec. 1113 (property subject to seizure and forfeiture) of the CMTA.

Meanwhile, the case records will also be referred to the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers for filing corresponding criminal cases before the Department of Justice for violation of Section 1401 of the CMTA.#

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