Quantcast
Latest Stories

Sinister attempt to withdraw ‘smuggled’ sugar bared

By

An unidentified group made a sinister attempt last Tuesday to withdraw some P110 million worth of sugar allegedly smuggled from Thailand and confiscated by customs authorities in 2010, a group representing the sugar industry disclosed on Friday.

The Sugar Master Plan Foundation (SMPF) said unidentified persons representing a “vested interest group” presented dubious court documents to customs officers to claim 55,000 bags of sugar valued at P2,000 per bag from a customs warehouse in Bulacan where the stocks of sugar are stored pending litigation “apparently with the intention to sell it to the market.”

“Fortunately, our customs officers were very alert and immediately called for backup,” and the group had to leave, SMPF executive director Felixberto T. Monasterio said in a phone interview.

No leads yet

Monasterio said he had no idea who was behind the attempt to withdraw the “smuggled” sugar. Asked if a politician could be behind it, he said: “That’s what we’re afraid of. That’s why we are now going to media.”

According to Monasterio, the Bureau of Customs already ruled last Oct. 8 that the sugar shipment was “clearly” illegal, but his group was now pressing the BOC and the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to declare finally that the sugar was smuggled.

“This is so the sugar can finally be disposed of by the SRA,” he told the Inquirer.

In a statement, Monasterio raised concerns that the release of the sugar stocks to the local market would depress prices to the detriment of farmers, considering that sugar remained a “sensitive commodity.”

“Any slump in price affects farmers, as the industry gives jobs to 60,000 farmers planting sugarcane on 420,000 hectares. The industry contributes P70 billion to the country’s gross domestic product and P2 billion in value-added tax,” he said.

In 2010, the National Food Authority was allowed by the national government to import 150,000 metric tons of sugar in the first half to beef up local supply.

But in the middle of the importation process, customs officials seized a shipment of 54,907 bags of sugar from Thailand that went beyond the volume allowed the NFA. The importer was Unitrade International.

After a long legal squabble, the BOC’s Law Office declared the shipment illegal on Oct. 8, Monasterio said.

Rightful claimant

“However, another company, Yida Trading, filed last Oct. 25 a motion for reconsideration with BOC after its Oct. 8 decision, saying it is the rightful claimant of the sugar. It claims as evidence the receipt issued to it by Unitrade upon purchase of the goods,” he said.

Monasterio said he did not believe Yida Trading was the same group that attempted to get the stocks from the Bulacan warehouse on Tuesday.

“It’s good that Customs people in Bulacan are on their toes. It is to their credit that the sugar has not been pulled out by people who want to make a shortcut and make money at the expense of our sugar industry,” he said.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Felixberto T. Monasterio , SMPF , Smuggling , sugar , Sugar Master Plan Foundation , Thailand




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’–report
  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Sports

  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement