BOC seizes over P101 million worth of smuggled onions, agri products
MANILA, Philippines — Smuggled agricultural products worth P101,641,350 in total were seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) from Feb. 27 to 28.
According to the BOC in a statement on Sunday, the said products — such as red and white onions, mushroom balls, and sugar — were discovered in containers mostly from China, which arrived at the Manila port from December 29, 2022 to February 12, 2023.
“While we aren’t done yet examining all these suspected containers, we’re already working on getting to the bottom of these illegal operations,” said Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Juvymax Uy.
The said products were discovered in shipments to three local consignees — RYY Consumer Goods Trading, MFBY Consumer Goods Trading, and M.S. Fab Builder, after Alert Orders (AOs) were issued by Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Director Verne Enciso, who received “derogatory information” about the contents of the containers.
“Originally, these shipments were declared to have pizza dough, shabu-shabu balls like fish balls, and some pneumatic tools. But, so far, of the 22 containers we have opened this week, we already found agricultural products, such as sugar and onions,” Enciso said.
After receiving the report from the Customs Intelligence Group, CIIS-Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP) chief Alvin Enciso put on hold the containers and conducted physical examinations.
“It’s critical for us here at the port to act swiftly on these matters because if these containers are indeed carrying agricultural products, then we have to coordinate with other key government agencies for the proper documentation,” said Enciso.
“Here, we’re not just on the lookout for contraband items like illegal drugs and such, but we’re also protecting our markets from the economic impact of smuggled agri goods,” he added.
With the discovery, the district collector will be immediately be issuing the Warrant of Seizure and Detention against subject smuggled onions and sugar for possible violations of Sec. 1400 and Sec. 11 in relation to Sec. 1113 of Republic Act No. 10863, also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).