Customs seizes P85M worth of smuggled sugar
The Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) Intelligence Group (IG) has seized 57 shipping containers of smuggled sugar from Thailand worth over P85 million, the biggest haul of illegally imported sugar confiscated by the bureau this year in terms of volume and value.
This brought to more than P284 million the amount of smuggled sugar seized by the BOC since January, Deputy Customs Commissioner Jessie Dellosa said on Thursday.
The BOC identified the consignee and broker of the shipment as Global Classe Marketing and Commercial Corp., with offices at F.B. Harrison Street, Pasay City, and Rolando Crave, respectively.
Initial investigation showed the firm tried to hide the smuggling attempt by declaring the shipment as general merchandise, like kitchen utensils and school and office supplies.
The shipment did not have import permit from the Sugar Regulatory Administration.
The BOC is set to file smuggling charges against the company for alleged violation of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines.
On Aug. 13, IG personnel confiscated 21 40-foot containers of smuggled refined sugar and five 40-footers of illegally imported rice.
The shipments, valued at over P40 million, were consigned to Rainbow Holdings Inc.
Both shipments were declared to have come from Hong Kong although they originated from Thailand.
“This is how they tried to evade detection—by first transporting the sugar to another port, like Hong Kong, and then changing their description before loading them to another vessel bound for the Philippines,” Dellosa said.
The IG has confiscated 189 containers of smuggled sugar at the Manila International Container Port and the ports of Cebu and Cagayan de Oro so far this year. The shipments were valued at more than P284 million.–Jerry E. Esplanada
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