Customs seizes ‘hot’ onions from China
MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Customs seized two more containers full of red onions from China with an estimated retail value of P2.8 million.
It is the seventh container of smuggled onions from China seized in the past four months, worth a total of P36 million, Customs officials said.
Rogel Gatchalian, district collector at the Port of Manila, said the latest operation barred the entry into the country of 50,000 kilos of low priced onions which had been declared as “(fruit) juice.”
Gatchalian said the shipment that arrived last Aug. 3 was consigned to Airfreight Alliance Inc. which had no permit or quarantine clearances to import onions from China.
Airfreight Alliance was also the consignee of a previous shipment of contraband onions, using the same tactics, he said.
Last week, customs operatives seized three containers filled with onions from China, declared as “pickles” and “juice.” Part of the contraband was consigned to a company called Interwide Trading.
Gatchalian said the BOC was not letting up on its drive against smuggling as the bureau strives to help plug the budget gap, which is expected to reach P300 billion this year.
On Thursday, Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said BOC cash collections in the seven months to July gained 11 percent, reaching P147.623 billion from P132.991 billion in the same period last year.
BOC revenues also include noncash collections in the form of tax credits that are granted to government entities and companies that bring in goods from abroad.
The BOC contributed 19 percent of the national government’s revenue of P788.6 billion for the period.