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Customs to auction off smuggled rice

/ 08:32 AM May 28, 2013

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is set to auction 50 container vans of smuggled rice on June 6.

Edward dela Cuesta, Cebu Customs Collector told Cebu Daily News that  50 container vans which are part of the 1,169 vans of smuggled rice from Vietnam, will be auctioned off to the public after the National Food Authority (NFA) was done with the valuation of the contraband.

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The NFA valued the smuggled rice at P1,373 per sack of 50 kilos. Each van contains 520 sacks of rice.

The NFA meanwhile expressed concern that the quality of rice that have been left inside the vans in the last two months may have deteriorated.

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Lucy Rosales, NFA’s regional public information officer told CDN that “there is a possibility that  hot weather could have affected the condition of the rice.”

Rice stocks, she added, need proper ventilation to maintain moisture and prevent molds.

Dela Cuesta said the June 6 public auction is experimental.

“If ever this would be successful, we will continue the public auction”, he told CDN.

Rosales said that, had the BOC requested them for storage space in their warehouse, the smuggled rice worth P1.2 billion, the biggest haul in recent history nationwide, the NFA could have opened their storage facilities.

The container vans  are now stored in the loading area of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for more than two months already. These were confiscated last April 25 in the Cebu International Port.

The smuggled rice carry the following brands: Bochokoy premium white sinandomeng rice; Unicorn premium white rice; Doña Conchita gold fancy rice; Ruby Extra premium sinandomeng rice; and Valentino premium grade sinandomeng rice.  /Michelle Joy L. Padayhag, Correspondent

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TAGS: Bureau of Customs (BoC), rice, smuggled rice
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