BOC seizes P153 million smuggled onions from China
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has seized over P153 million of smuggled fresh red and white onions from China.
In a statement on Thursday, the BOC said the Manila International Container Port – Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS-MICP) found the onions during a spot-check examination of seven containers at the MICP.
The shipments were all consigned to Seaster Consumer Goods Trading and were originally declared as fishballs.
BOC said two of the shipments contained fresh white onions, while five had fresh red onions.
CIIS-MICP chief Alvin Enciso recommended for the issuance of Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) as the consignee—Seaster Consumer Goods Trading—is expected to face charges.
“We are fully aware of the woes of our kababayans because of the prices of goods, particularly fresh onions. We are taking extra steps to make sure these perpetrators are brought to justice and free our markets from illegally sourced. Imported products that could further impact the agricultural sector,” Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz said.
CIIS Director Jeoffrey Tacio said that the spot-examination of the containers was prompted by the information they received that they contained agricultural products and misdeclared and undeclared items.
The BOC said all of the shipments arrived on November 16, 2022. The request to verify all containers was made on November 18, 2022.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. earlier ordered the phytosanitary inspection of smuggled onions to ensure their safety before being released to the market.
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