Smuggling: Foreign sugar slips through
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—At least 25 to 30 containers with refined sugar had already been smuggled out of the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental last week before authorities seized over a dozen others, Customs Deputy Commissioner Jessie Dellosa said.
Dellosa made the statement Friday while inspecting the 16 containers of refined sugar, which were seized on May 24 at the MCT.
Aside from refined sugar valued at about P25.6 million, four other containers with candies, tea, toys, and pipe fittings, valued at about P2.4 million, were also seized.
Dellosa said documents revealed that the contraband came from China aboard the vessel MV Valdivia.
Customs documents identified the consignee of the seized shipment as AMD Royale Enterprises based in Purok 10, Baloy Highway, Tablon, Cagayan de Oro City. The same documents identified the customs broker as a Steve S. Semblante of Zone 1, 374 Kauswagan, Cagayan de Oro City.
Dellosa said he believed the containers that were smuggled out prior to the seizure also had the same consignee and broker.
He said the BOC’s Intelligence Group is now coordinating efforts with the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to determine where the smuggled sugar had been taken.
Owners of warehouses with contraband would be charged with smuggling, Dellosa said.
Dellosa said Customs officials are also looking into other import documents submitted by AMD, which had brought in a total of 800 containers since January.
The importation was facilitated by the same broker, according to Dellosa.
The seized containers had been declared as “household goods.”
Lawyer Ruby Claudia Alameda, district collector of the Port of Cagayan de Oro, said both the consignee and the customs broker would be charged with smuggling.
The seized goods would be declared government property and auctioned off, she said.
Elisa Lao, senior sugar production regulations officer of the SRA, said the volume of smuggled sugar seized on Sunday may adversely affect sugar prices.
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