P21M in used clothes seized in ‘ukay-ukay’ raid


SAN PEDRO, Laguna—Customs officials seized P21 million worth of used clothing, or “ukay-ukay,” that have been smuggled into the country.

Customs Deputy Commissioner Danilo Lim on Thursday said a large syndicate was believed to be behind the smuggled goods that authorities recovered from three private warehouses in Laguna and Parañaque City.

The Bureau of Customs raided a warehouse in Barangay Merville in Parañaque and in the villages of Landayan in San Pedro and San Vicente in Biñan City, both in Laguna province, in simultaneous operations on Tuesday morning.

Lim and Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon on Thursday visited the Biñan warehouse, from which 1,200 boxes of the smuggled clothes were recovered.

In San Pedro, customs agents seized 400 boxes, while 300 boxes were taken from the Parañaque warehouse.

“There were also three vans carrying about 200 more boxes for delivery to Baguio City intercepted during the raid. All in all, about 2,100 boxes,” Lim said in a phone interview.

Lim said they acted on tips from informants who also told them that the goods came from Hong Kong.

“The goods from the three warehouses were owned by a single operator. We think it’s a large syndicate,” said Lim, deputy commissioner for intelligence and former rebel soldier.

He refused to name the people involved because of the ongoing operation but he said there were pieces of information that foreigners were involved.

No one was arrested in the raid.

Lim said the recovered clothes were brought to the customs warehouse in Manila for possible turnover to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

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