BOC: P54-M worth of smuggled diesel seized from vessel in Pangasinan town
MANILA, Philippines — At least P54-million worth of diesel fuel had been seized from a maritime vessel that was intercepted in Sual, Pangasinan, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said on Friday.
According to reports from the BOC, the smuggled fuel was found inside M/V Veronica-1, which was at the subport of Sual, after BOC’s Intelligence Group conducted an inspection.
The team, composed of BOC’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) and Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), Port Operations Division of the Subport of Sual, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Navy (PN), Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group, and the local police, launched the inspection after the issuance of a Pre-Lodgement Control Order (PLCO).
The PLCO was issued against the vessel last May 3, upon suspicions that it contained smuggled fuel.
The BOC said samples taken from the 12 compartments for fuel testing failed on both the first and second tests using a Mobile Fuel Analyzer, which means no fuel marking was found on the subject items and that it did not pass through Customs checking.
This led the Port of San Fernando to order the seizure of the smuggled fuel and the vessel itself. Around 1,350 kiloliters of diesel were recovered.
Customs Commissioner Bien Rubio assured the public that despite the huge haul, the burea will continue to work with partner agencies and intensify efforts to fight smuggling.
“I commend the Port of San Fernando and the joint task force for their successful operation against smuggled fuel. This achievement is a testament to our unwavering commitment to securing our borders and protecting our economy from the adverse effects of smuggling,” Rubio said.
“Rest assured that the Bureau of Customs will continue to work closely with our partner agencies to strengthen our intelligence gathering and border security measures to prevent similar attempts in the future,” he added.
CIIS Director Verne Enciso meanwhile said that it is important that government agencies work together given that smugglers have been more daring in their operations. Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group Juvymax Uy also said that this cooperation — and the quick response from agents — led to the successful seizure of the smuggled diesel.
“As long as our Customs agents and other agencies continue to be relentless, our pursuit of smuggling activities and the people behind them would succeed,” Uy said.