Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez ordered today the seizure of a huge volume of smuggled sugar which were found by customs intelligence operatives in the same industrial compound in Bulacan where some 26,000 bags of smuggled onions from China and India were confiscated only a week ago.
Alvarez said that while estimates vary, the most conservative put the volume of the sugar haul at around 130 containers with a retail value of at about P130 million.
Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service Director Filomeno Vicencio, Jr. said the bags of sugar were surreptitiously hidden at Storage Warehouse No. 88 located inside the sprawling Sterling Industrial Park in Barangay. Iba, Meycauayan, Bulacan.
The smuggled onions seized last week by the BOC were kept inside Storage Warehouse 505 within the same industrial park.
Representatives from the Sugar Regulatory Administration confirmed that the contraband’s consignee who remained unidentified bought the sugar from Thailand. The SRA has not issued a SUGAR RELEASE CLEARANCE on this particular importation.
Alvarez said this sugar seizure would be remembered as one of the biggest in recent memory and it came on the heels of the 20 sugar containers confiscated recently at the Port of Manila and another 12 containers seized earlier at the Manila International Container Port.
The customs chief said this latest sugar seizure should serve as a warning to smugglers that the Bureau of Customs under his watch is committed to protect the interest of local farmers who have been put at a disadvantage by the illegal importation of cheap farm produce.
Alvarez commended Vicencio and his team composed of Atty. Christian Flores and Atty. Larribert Hilario as well as ground commanders Norberto Segunial, Jr. and Atty. Floro Calixihan, Jr. for their unbroken determination to make smuggling under President Aquino’s administration unprofitable.