BOC files cases against several smugglers, brokers
Cases for smuggling and violation of customs laws have been filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against several importers and customs brokers, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Public Information and Assistance Division (PIAD) said.
According to a statement from BOC on Monday, the five cases either involved wrong declaration of imported goods or importation of counterfeit items, with a total value of about P20.5 million and outstanding duties and taxes estimated around P9 million.
“We will be relentless in our efforts to apprehend smugglers and their cohorts. We will not stop,” BOC Chief Isidro Lapeña said in a statement.
In one case, five individuals from the Malaya Multi-Purpose Cooperative allegedly misdeclared a shipment worth of P2.5 million worth of onions, apples, and pears.
The cooperative members involved, identified as Oscar Catacutan, Mario Briones, Eddie Lalu, Randy Turla, and Alfredo Guevarra, along with customs broker Mary Faith Duran Miro will face cases for large-scale agricultural smuggling after it was revealed that four other containers of onions were hidden among carts of apples and pears.
An Ismael Tayuan Malingco, who owns IT Malingco, and corresponding customs broker Erlinda Dumalaog were charged for smuggling after foodstuff, air freshener, shampoo, and other commodities worth P6.5 million were imported without appropriate permits from the Food and Drug Administration.
According to BOC, the products have been destroyed last September 14 at an accredited condemnation facility in San Pedro, Laguna.
A certain Stanley Tan who imported P9.4 million worth of allegedly fake cigarettes and beauty products was charged for violation of Section 224, Section 118 (f) (Prohibited Importation) in relation to Section 1430 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
A case for breaching Section 166 of R.A. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines was also prepared against him.
In another case, Marnie Seguiran who owns a company known as Power Buster Marking was held liable after importing P1.6 million worth of fireworks and firecrackers in the guise of footwear.
Seguiran will face cases for violating Section 1401 in relation to Section 117 of the CMTA and Section 6 of Republic Act 7183 or the Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, Distribution, and Use of Firecrackers and other Pyrotechnic Devices.
Pherica International Corporation President Samuel Alvarado was also charged for importing plush toys with an estimated amount of P500,000 without proper permits from the FDA, which is a violation of Republic Act 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009.
Lapeña said that the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS), which operates under BOC’s Legal Service, has actively pursued those who tried to escape from the payment of correct duties and taxes.
“There will be no holy cows in this area. All those found guilty of violating the customs laws should be in jail,” he said. /je
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