BOC-10 seizes imported cigarettes declared as used furniture
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Cigarettes coming from China that were wrongfully declared as used furniture were seized by the Bureau of Customs-10 (BOC-10) at one of the ports in the region on Thursday (Jan. 20), the agency said Friday.
BOC-10 said the shipment, estimated to be worth P8 million, was intercepted at the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) subport in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.
This is the agency’s second operation that led to the confiscation of imported cigarettes for this year.
Oliver Valiente, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) chief for Northern Mindanao, said they received information early this month that smuggled items will arrive at the MCT.
He said the CIIS acted on the tip by requesting lawyer Elvira Cruz, BOC-10 district collector, to issue a pre-lodgement control order against the shipment for possible violation of Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
A pre-lodgment control order refers to a written order issued by the Customs commissioner, district collector, or other customs officers authorized in writing by the commissioner, before the lodgment of goods declaration or when no goods declaration is lodged, based on grounds stated in section 5.1 of the Customs Administrative Order 07-2019.
Based on its manifest, the shipment, a container van, arrived in the country on Jan. 14, 2022, from China and was consigned to UHE Trading.
During the physical examination conducted by operatives from the CIIS, Enforcement and Security Service, the K-9 unit of the Phil. Drug Enforcement Agency-10 and Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc. representatives discovered that the shipment contained cigarettes branded as “YS.”
For her part, Cruz said she hopes “this will send a strong message to smugglers that the agency is serious in strengthening its border protection and will not tolerate unscrupulous individuals that will attempt to defraud the government of rightful revenues.”
The confiscation of imported tobacco products is the second operation conducted by the BOC-10 for this year.
On Jan. 6, 2022, Customs authorities also seized a container van full of imported cigarettes from China.
According to Cris Angelo Andrade, BOC-10 spokesperson, the cigarettes bearing the brand name “Titan” were estimated to be worth P8 million and was also declared as used furniture. It was consigned to a certain Ceri Rey Viola.
“The two container vans, although shipped at different dates, were wrongly declared as used furniture. We are grateful that through the intelligence-sharing of the CIIS and other agencies here and abroad, the Customs uncovered this modus operandi leading to the confiscation of illegally imported goods,” Andrade said in a phone interview Friday afternoon.
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