Six BOC execs in Subic relieved amid sugar smuggling probe
MANILA, Philippines — Six officials of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) have been relieved as an investigation into the alleged smuggling of sugar at the Port of Subic is underway, the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) disclosed Wednesday.
Citing an office order dated August 22, the OPS said acting BOC commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz relieved the six Port of Subic officials and “temporarily transferred [them] to the Office of the Commissioner” while awaiting the results of the investigation into the alleged smuggling of sugar from Thailand.
The OPS identified the relieved BOC officials in Subic as district collector Maritess Theodossis Martin, deputy collector for assessment Maita Sering Acevedo, deputy collector for operations Giovanni Ferdinand Aguillon Leynes, chief of assessment division Belinda Fernando Lim, Enforcement Security Service commander Vincent Mark Solamin Malasmas, and Intelligence and Investigation Service supervisor Justice Roman Silvoza Geli.
The investigation stemmed from the reported attempt to smuggle 140,000 bags or 7,021 metric tons of imported sugar from Thailand at the Port of Subic.
The OPS earlier said that BOC officials learned that the import permit used for the cargo containing the sugar was “recycled,” which means it was already used for an earlier sugar shipment.
“Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles says that heads may roll at the BoC if evidence shows that any of the bureau’s port personnel are in connivance with smugglers using recycled sugar import permits,” the OPS previously said.
Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service officer-in-charge Joeffrey Tacio reported that the cargo is covered by a “Special Permit to Discharge and Verified Single Administrative Document” from the BOC and with a verified clearance from the Sugar Regulatory Administration.