Customs give Chinese vessel 3 days to explain
THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) has given the captain of the Hong Kong registered M/V Ming Yuan until Wednesday to show cause why the ship should not be seized by the Philippine government for failure to issue a notice of arrival in the country.
Customs personnel delivered the notice yesterday to the vessel which is currently docked in the Tapilon Port in Daanbantayan town in northern Cebu.
Edward dela Cuesta, district collector of the BOC in the port of Cebu said:“They are given three days to answer the letter, and we will assess if their response would be justifiable.”
He however clarified that the BOC has no authority to detain the 24 Chinese crew members on board the vessel.
M/V Ming Yuan is said to have been in the country to load magnetite or black sand from Isabel, Leyte.
It however caught the attention of authorities after it dropped anchor in the sea between Carnasa and Malapascua islands since May 19 or over a month ago.
Magnetite is a commonly occurring Iron Oxide. It is a key raw material in the production of data storage devices like computer hard disks, and audio and video recording tapes.
Loreto Alburo, regional director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Central Visayas told Cebu Daily News is usually deposited offshore and in rivers.
Eastern Leyte, where Isabel town is located, according to Alburo have large deposits of magnetite.
Meanwhile, Dela Cuesta said that unlike the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), they have not been visited by officials of the Chinese Embassy.
Until now, the chinese crew are still on board inside the MV Ming Yuan vessel which is now anchored at Tapilon Port in Daanbantayan, said PCG Cebu station chief Commander Weniel Azcuna. /Michelle Joy L. Padayhag, Correspondent
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