On a roll, Biazon ups the ante

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MANILA, Philippines-With nearly P2 billion worth of smuggled rice seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in the past eight months, Commissioner Rufino Biazon has directed the bureau’s Intelligence Group, as well as its revenue collection districts nationwide, to “increase the tempo of operations” against the illegal importation of the staple.

Biazon also called for the stricter monitoring of rice shipments from what the Department of Finance-attached agency refers to as “high-risk” countries for rice smuggling.

The former Muntinlupa City legislator was referring to Vietnam, India, Taiwan and China, among other countries.

In a text message to the Inquirer on Sunday, he said he had given instructions to the intel group and port collectors to expedite the operation against rice smugglers.

“As long as smugglers lurk in customs, this social and economic menace would be far from over,” Biazon said.

As this developed, the militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) dared Biazon to “name, shame and charge with economic sabotage” not just the traders behind the illegal importation of P1.2 billion worth of Vietnamese rice but also their alleged government protectors.

‘Untouchables’

Last week, the BOC named the eight consignees of the smuggled rice as the following Cebu-based firms: JJM Global Trading, JM-ARS Trading, Neon Gateway Trading, Custans Enterprises, Melma Enterprises, NMW Enterprises, Ocean Park Enterprises and MMSM Trading.

In a statement, KMP secretary general Antonio Flores said the alleged rice smugglers “seem to be untouchables enjoying protection from corrupt government officials.”

Flores urged the government to distribute the confiscated rice to victims of Tropical Storm “Pablo” and the “poorest of the poor” instead of offering it up for public bidding.

P1.2 billion in smuggled rice

Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Danilo Lim announced on Thursday they had discovered P1.2 billion worth of smuggled rice misdeclared as stone and granite slabs and cooling insulators in 1,169 containers from Vietnam.

The former Army general said the shipment, seized at the Port of Cebu, was bigger than the much-publicized smuggled rice confiscated at the Subic Freeport in Zambales late last year.

The estimated number of sacks seized could reach 600,000, according to Lim.

Last month, the BOC seized P10 million worth of smuggled Taiwanese rice, misdeclared as wall insulators, also at the Port of Cebu.

In a statement, Biazon said the consignees of the smuggled rice—ARFG Trading and Cargo Facilities and JBD Trading, both located at Mandaue City—would not only be blacklisted but would also be charged in court along with their brokers.

Early this year, Lim led a customs team in the seizure of 94,000 bags of smuggled Vietnamese rice worth at least P135 million, which were transported to Legazpi City by the vessel MV Minh Tuan.

He identified two of the alleged erring cooperatives as Malipampang Concerned Citizens and Samahan ng Magsasakang Kapampangan at Katagalugan.

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  • FORTHE GOOD

    The BOC confiscated P 2 Billion worth of smuggled rice in the past 8 months! Never done during 9 years of the corrupt arroyo regime.

    Great achievement but the fight against illegal smuggling of all forms continues!

    Go Ruffy Biazon! Godspeed.

    • piskay

      a panahon ni arroyo hinde ganito ka grabe at ka garapalan ang mga smugling sa BOC,halos 3billion lang ang nalugi noon ,di gaya ngayon na halos 19 billion ang nalugi.ngayon lang umaksyon yan ,kasi halatado na masyado.ang tagal ng may smuggling mula sa bagong admin na ito

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    This is merely a drop in the bucket. The person that should led the BOC is not a politician or not from a political family. most BOC are workers are cronies of big politicians. recommended to BOC directors. all staffs recommended by politicians should be removed immediately, convert to automated transaction completely and for Biazon, if this is not approve by the president then ask for resignation with these reasons.

  • NAGMAMARUNONG

    php 2B smuggled rice? bakit mga enterprises o trading ang mga importers? walang mga corporate entities?

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      for a simple reason. Individual are easy to catch, the enterprises or tradings name can be easily posted so that when the smuggling is successful it will be delivered in that place but when it got busted nobody is there.
      COME on use your brain. This smugglers are are not rocket scientists but just give them good inside connection at BOC. If you’re a good observer, those addresses are close to some custom officials private business or family business. The connection is there. When the smuggling is successful somebody will receive the smuggled goods if busted nobody is there.

  • UrHONOR

    ANO na ang nangyari sa kaso laban kay BANAYO ng NFA na diumano ay NINONG ng ilang mga rice smugglers sa Luzon sa tulong ng kanyang sidekick na si Nixon? Wala bang pagbabago sa kaso….o, nakaligtaan na?

    • Mamang Pulis

      pinalusot sa daang matuwid

      • UrHONOR

        Malamag nga…..pinalusot ng mga mamang pulis!

  • $19543087

    What I need to know aside from the names of the business establishments are the registered owners of this firms. Also, how many times these individuals were caught smuggling before & how come they are not imprisoned? I could not believed these people will continue doing this business if they are not protected & not sent to prison. Who are their protectors?

  • Islander

    Fight, fight, Ruffy. Fight for your job.

  • Jake Lopez

    just re-export the rice and then out the proceeds, buy rice from local farmers for distribution to Pablo victims. Pag ito mismong smuggled rice ang pinamigay, magkakaroon ng over-supply sa market…kawawa naman yung ibang magsasaka pag bumaba ang presyo ng bigas dahilan sa over-supply.

  • ConcernedCitizenPh

    I hope Comm Biazon targets the smuggling of goods subject to VAT because more revenues are lost here compared to non-VAT goods such as rice. This is also the solution to stop the tax evasion of businesses involved in the sale of smuggled goods. This will bring the huge underground economy that we have into the Philippine taxation system.

  • ConcernedCitizenPh

    Corruption in all revenue generating units of the government should be stopped because a very large amount of government revenues is compromised in exchange for a fewer amount of “facilitation fees”.. The effect is like depriving the government its whole annual budget. The country will never recover if this continues.

  • $14334231

    i bet you know a lot more who are involved on this scheme but afraid to confront them…i haven’tt heard you say you had stopped the smuggling of used cars in cagayan!!!!…..did you tell “him” to lay low temporarily until the heat is gone????….just curious…..

  • iping2sison

    Do not sell those smuggled rice. The financiers are waiting for the bidding and likely they will win as they know the actual costs and can still profit in reselling the rice. Burn them!! Support our rice farmers who become poor due to smuggling. No one shall be fed or eat illegally sourced food.

  • Ako_Hiking

    Aquino spends most his time enjoying pointing the blame for corruption on one person, Gloria yet things under his Administration remains as corrupt as ever. Smugglers getting protected by government officials and the apparent attempt to smuggle that much rice clearly shows that corruption is still alive and well under the Aquino Administration with or without Gloria involved.

  • Mark

    Let’s put the heat this time on Danilo Lim, ang dami nyang dakdak nun panahon ni GMA, na saan na ngaun ang performance mo ngaun nsa pwesto ka na at may kapangyarihan?

  • Corrupt_Jerk

    The question is, where is now the said rice that worth 2billiion pesos? What is your plan with that confiscated item? Or, after this media blitz the BOC will turn it over back to this smugglers?

    If I were to ask on what to do on this smuggled rice, I will definitely distribute this to the orphanage people and victims of typhoons.

    For the BOC keep up the good work…I hope by this action the rampant illegal smugglers on our country will vanished.

  • Corrupt_Jerk

    Since the BOC knows who’s behind this illegal rice smuggling — how come this people are still free to do business in our country? Are they not filing charges with this ? Or, Permanently terminating their license to operate?

    The public wants to know the update of this rice smuggling our poor Filipino farmers where cheated by this smugglers.

  • BOYPDAF

    all the smuggled goods that arfe confiscated must not go thru bidding,it must be distributed..if rice thats good,sugar,even hot cars ipa raffle!or isama sa pcso lottery!

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