Latest Stories


Even some janitors in customs are corrupt


One of the collectors who will be affected by the impending reshuffle at the Bureau of Customs has a P300-million mansion that sits on one block of pricey real estate at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

He has a fleet of luxury cars, which he flaunts going to the office.

The Office of the Ombudsman seems to be looking the other way when it comes to this customs collector.

*  *  *

A customs police officer is trying to recoup his losses from extortion activities while he was out of the bureau for many months after his dismissal for unexplained wealth.

This customs police officer coughed up a big amount of money to an Ombudsman official who was on the way out.

That’s what he tells his fellow officials, who are themselves corrupt, who ask how he was able to get himself reinstated.

Now, this customs police officer is involved in shaking down big-time importers (read: smugglers) and their brokers.

He drops the names of his superiors when he extorts money from importers and customs brokers.

*  *  *

The original mandate of the customs police is to guard government facilities and private property within the customs zone.

In other words, they are glamorized security guards.

The secondary role of the customs police is to help out personnel who inspect or seize cargo suspected to contain contraband on orders from the port collector.

Customs policemen, according to their original mandate, cannot inspect or seize cargo on their own.

*  *  *

Legitimate importers and brokers dealing with the customs bureau complain that there are just too many crooks in the bureau whose palms should be greased.

These include employees at the Office of the Customs Commissioner, employees at the various offices of deputy commissioners, the staff of the port collector, customs intelligence agents, customs policemen, people manning the X-ray machines, janitors and messengers.

Yes sir, even some janitors and messengers should be bribed so they can keep their mouths and eyes shut.

Importers with legal cargo still have to bribe customs people so their papers will move. If they don’t do so, their goods can languish in the warehouses, which may prove costlier in the long run.

*  *  *

Fouzi Ali Hussein Bondagji, a Saudi Arabian national who was deported several years ago for his alleged links to terrorists, is back in the country.

He was allowed by the Commission on Immigration to re-enter the country upon the recommendation of the Board of Investments (BOI).

Bondagji is now a holder of a special investor’s resident visa.

The immigration commission, then under Commissioner Marcelino Libanan, cancelled Bondagji’s resident visa upon the recommendation of the National Security Agency (NSA).

The NSA found Bondagji had links to the dreaded terrorist Osama bin Laden, a fellow Saudi, who was killed by American elite troops in Pakistan.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More from this Column:

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: Bureau of Customs , customs collector , customs police officer , Graft and Corruption , janitors , Philippines

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
  1. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  2. Obama, family cause a small stir at Easter service
  3. Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return
  4. Gigi Reyes’ only option: tell all
  5. Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
  6. ‘Malang’ next crocodile attraction after ‘Lolong’
  7. Ancient enigmatic carvings in danger of disappearing
  8. New plant to boost supply of clean energy
  9. Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  10. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  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. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  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. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Port Area fire spares Red Cross warehouse
  • PNP may use ‘reasonable force’ against of Etihad Airlines passengers refusing medical test
  • Intrigues mar signing of Bangsamoro draft law
  • Singson apologizes for delay in Edsa road repairs
  • Congressmen seek end to small-town lottery operations
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Business

  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • Marketplace