P90M worth of suspected smuggled rice found in Manila warehouses
MANILA, Philippines — Three warehouses in Tondo, Manila were padlocked after the discovery of more than P90 million worth of rice believed to be smuggled, Bureau of Customs (BOC) said on Monday.
The commodities were imported from Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar.
Aside from the rice grains, operatives also found P310 million worth of other goods in these storage facilities.
The products ranged from children’s toys, cosmetics, kitchenware, household wares, videoke machine, fabrics, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, shoes, apparel, and general merchandise.
“While our government and kababayans scramble to make rice cheaper and more accessible, these businesses are possibly smuggling and hoarding them, which further adversely impacts our efforts to bring the prices down,” Customs Commissioner Bien Rubio said in a statement.
Customs Intelligence Group head and Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy expressed surprise at seeing a huge haul of grains apparently being hoarded in the warehouses.
“We were expecting to find rice, but it was still disappointing to see tens of thousands of sacks of rice in these storage areas, especially since our very own people are clamoring for more supply and to bring the prices down further even amid the price ceiling we now have,” he said.
-With reports from Jezvette Kyelle Mapagdalita, trainee