DOJ orders filing of smuggling rap vs Phoenix petroleum president, Customs broker

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MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Justice ordered the filing of over P5-billion smuggling complaint against a leading independent oil player Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc.

In a resolution dated April 24, 2013, the DOJ through Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, ordered the filing of charges for violation of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP) against Phoenix’ President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Ang Uy and Customs Broker Jorlan Capiin Cabanes.

The two, the resolution stated, have personal knowledge “and direct participation in the operations of Phoenix, including the processing and release of shipments that were already abandoned in favor of the government for failure to file import entries within 30 days from discharge of goods.”

The resolution resolved the motion for reconsideration filed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and reversed its earlier resolution dated Nov. 16, 2012.

De Lima said the documents submitted by Phoenix “contain discrepancies, inconsistencies and variance—vis-à-vis the documents submitted by complainant relative to the shipment in question.”

For instance, the importations from June 2010 to November 2010 with a combined dutiable value of P589,523,451.772 are without import entries. While Phoenix submitted Import Entry Revenue Declaration (IERD), the BOC submitted documents showing that the IERD is about a different consignee and shipment.

While the imported Gasoil and Ron 93 Unleaded Gasoline at the Port of Davao from January to March 2011 worth P1,558,809,162.00, payments of duties were made late, hence, it was already deemed abandoned and became property of the government.

For the P1,962,839,557 June 2010 to April 2010 importation of various petroleum products, the DOJ said Phoenix submitted supporting documents but BOC submitted evidence that it was about a different shipment.

On the other hand, the P1,336,569,393 and P533,471,269 worth of shipment were not covered by the required Load Port Surveys.

“With all the discrepancies, inconsistencies and variance in the documents submitted by respondents vis-à-vis the documents submitted by the complainant relative to the shipments in question, we cannot sustain the finding in our resolution of Nov. 16, 2012 that dismissed the complaint against the respondent,” Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said.

On May 2011, the Bureau of Customs filed over P5 billion smuggling case against Phoenixfor non-payment of excise and value-added taxes, non-submission of import documents.

In 2009, Phoenix was ranked 211th among the countries top 10,000 corporations.

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