MANILA, Philippines ? The Bureau of Customs (BoC) yesterday turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) the estimated P100 million worth of elephant tusks that Customs personnel seized at the Manila South Harbor early this week.
Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales immediately ordered the cancellation of the accreditation of 210 Enterprises, the registered importer of the seized cargo which was found inside two abandoned container vans in a warehouse.
Morales also cancelled the accreditation of the company?s broker who was identified as Marilyn Pacheco from Ermita, Manila.
?They will be placed in our blacklist. They should not be allowed to do business here in the Bureau of Customs,? he told reporters.
Morales said Pacheco and the importer would be charged with violation of the Tariffs and Customs Code and Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation Act.
The BoC will likewise issue a subpoena against officials of the President Container Lines Inc., its import officer Ronald Corral, and forwarding company Ben Line Agencies Phils. in a bid to identify the individuals behind the smuggling of the tusks, Morales said.
Morales and Environment Secretary Lito Atienza yesterday led the inspection of the confiscated elephant tusks which were abandoned by the consignee after the cargo arrived from the port of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, two months ago.
Morales said a joint team of BoC and DENR personnel had started the inventory of the illegal cargo to determine its exact volume.
Atienza, meanwhile, lauded Morales and Chief Superintendent Jose Yuchangco, Customs police chief, for the discovery of the elephant tusks.
?We?re very happy about this. It showed their total commitment and vigilance toward protecting endangered and threatened species,? the DENR chief said.
Atienza added that the trading of elephant tusks and other wildlife resources has been outlawed since the Philippines signed the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in 1981.
?The importer committed a big crime by trading endangered and threatened animals,? he said.