DA says P27.3 million worth of smuggled sugar from China seized
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) said Friday that P27.3 million of sugar in 11 container vans smuggled from China had been confiscated following a series of operations by various agencies.
According to the DA, the smuggled refined sugar was seized on February 6, 15, and 16 with the help of the Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Customs, DA-Bureau of Plant Industry, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
“The shipments consigned to Kanluran Consumer Goods Trading that originated from China were seized after a series of operations led by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for DA Inspectorate and Enforcement at the Manila International Container Port,” it noted in a statement.
On February 6, operatives checked three containers that were declared to contain motorcycle parts. But the inspection led to the discovery of P7.44 million worth of sugar.
“Another operation was conducted on February 15, wherein the authorities found refined white sugar worth P9.92 million after inspecting four container vans. During a follow-up operation on February 16, they inspected four container vans with refined white sugar amounting to P9.92 million,” the DA said, adding that six more container vans are up for physical inspection by authorities.
For now, it said, criminal cases will be filed against the consignees of the inspected shipment for misdeclaring and misclassifying the cargo in violation of Republic Act No. 10611, the Food Safety Act of 2013, and Republic Act No. 10845, or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.
On February 21, Senator Risa Hontiveros bared an alleged government-sponsored smuggling of sugar, noting supposed irregularities in sugar shipments under the authorization of officials from DA and the Office of the Executive Secretary.