Bayan Muna solons want to probe ‘rampant’ sugar smuggling
TWO lawmakers at the House of Representatives want to conduct an investigation into the sugar smuggling in the Philippines.
Bayan Muna Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Isagani Zarate on Thursday filed House Resolution 2413, which calls for a probe into what they described as “rampant” sugar smuggling in the country’s ports.
In their resolution, the two lawmakers said that about P140 million worth of smuggled sugar were confiscated in the Philippines during the second quarter of 2015.
“What makes these series of smuggling more suspicious is not only the fact that these happened rampantly at such a short period of time, but also, certain entities like Real Top Enterprises has been involved in most of these incidents,” part of the resolution read.
The lawmakers said Real Top Enterprises was involved in the shipment of P13 million worth of smuggled sugar and the eight container vans of illegally imported Thai sugar.
The Real Top Enterprises was also linked to the smuggled 13,200 sacks of Thailand-refined sugar worth P34 million.
In August, 56 container vans of smuggled sugar worth P85 million from Thailand arrived at the Manila International Container Port Terminal in several batches and consigned to Global Classe Marketing and Comm. Corporation.
The customs broker who tried to facilitate the shipments’ release from the bureau was identified as Rolando Crave.
The lawmakers said it is “highly questionable that a single entity which was not even issued import permits from the Sugar Regulatory Administration has freely made its way through the supposedly keen eyes of the Bureau of Customs.”
The call for an investigation came after former Land Transportation Office chief Virginia Torres was embroiled in a controversy. Reports said she allegedly tried to negotiate the release of smuggled Thai sugar worth more than P100 million form the BOC.
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