P63M worth of misdeclared frozen goods from China, HK intercepted — BOC
MANILA, Philippines — At least P63 million of frozen food products misdeclared as prawn balls from Hong Kong and China were intercepted at the Manila International Container Port (MICP), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said on Monday.
In a statement from BOC, Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz and Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy confirmed that the agency issued two Alert Orders last November 17 for the shipment from Hong Kong and two more orders on November 18 for the shipment coming from China after receiving derogatory information regarding these imported materials.
The alert order was referred to Victory JM Enterprise OPC, the registered importer of the two containers from Hong Kong, each said to contain 25,000 kilograms of frozen prawn balls. The two containers from China contained 2,900 kilograms and 2,905 kilograms of frozen prawn balls.
However, upon inspection, the first container from Hong Kong had frozen tofu, chicken paws, and boneless beef, while the second container had frozen tofu, Vietnamese suckling pig, and beancurd skin. The containers from China had frozen fish tofu and frozen beef cheek meat.
Misdeclaration of the items violates Republic Act No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA). Due to this, the BOC Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) recommended the issuance of a warrant of seizure and detention.
“But in reality, these four containers contained other frozen foods that the consignees did not declare in their manifest. I have personally expressed my confidence to the team and thanked them for their relentless pursuit of these smugglers,” Ruiz said.
“We are simply complying with the directive of our President to continue our drive against the smuggling of agricultural products and protecting our markets and the prices of our products,” he added.
Both shipments arrived on the date that the alert orders were issued.
CIIS Director Jeoffrey Tacio said that they ensured the shipment would be intercepted, given the rising prices of basic goods and the Christmas season.
“We have been working double time since receiving the information about these containers. With prices of our goods going up, it is all the more important that we do our best to protect the borders and make sure that none of these smuggled products enter our markets,” Tacio said.
“These operations ensure that we are sending the right message to these smugglers—we will not back down. I encourage our team members to remain committed to this goal and use their experiences to be one step ahead of these people we want to put behind bars,” Uy added.
According to BOC, the unnamed consignee will face charges for violating Section 1400 (Misdeclaration in Goods Declaration) concerning Section 1113 (Property Subject to Seizure and Forfeiture) of R.A. No. 10863.
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