BOC files raps vs 2 firms for smuggling, undervaluation of imports
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Monday slapped smuggling charges against two importing firms for gross undervaluation of imports and large-scale agricultural smuggling.
The BOC-Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (Batas) filed the complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Granstar Premier Sports Corporation and Seven Myth Marketing.
The complaints stemmed from Granstar’s importation of 112 units of brand new Vespa scooters from Singapore in September 2014 at the Subic Port, and Seven Myth Marketing’s shipment of 7,150 sacks of rice declared as ceramic tiles in December 2017.
The first smuggling complaint was filed against Granstar owner and major shareholder Fabian Go and customs broker Norinel O. Quezana who processed the importation of the illegal shipment.
According to the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), Granstar declared the total value of goods at $50,400 or P2.5 million, which was “considerably lower” than the actual value of $3,448.24 per unit.
Batas said in its complaint-affidavit that the declared value of the shipments plus duties and taxes only amount to P3,647,770. But according to the Import Assessment Service (IAS), the actual value of the shipments plus duties and taxes amount to P28,297,167.46; or an 87-percent discrepancy.
Customs chief Isidro Lapeña said the respondents violated sections 2503 (Undervaluation, Misclassification, Misdeclaration in Entry), 3602 (Various Fraudulent Practices against Customs Revenue), 3601 (Unlawful Importation) of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), and article 172 (Falsification by Private Individuals and Use of Falsified Documents) of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
Batas also filed charges against Seven Myth Marketing owner Leoncio Victor S. Mangubat and customs broker Mary Faith D. Miro.
According to the complaint, the consignee declared Seven Myth Marketing’s two shipments as ceramic tiles but was found to contain 7,150 sacks of 50 kilograms Sinandomeng Aguila and Sinandomeng Mayon rice with estimated duties and taxes of P10 million.
The consignee imported 15 containers but it was discovered during the examination that only one container actually contained ceramic tiles.
The BOC seized the items on December 13, 2017 after being tipped on December 7.
The case was filed against Seven Myth for violation of Section 1400 (Misdeclaration, Misclassification, Undervaluation in Good Declaration), in relation to Section 1401 (Unlawful Importation or Exportation) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), and Article 172 in relation to Article 171 (Falsification by Private Individuals and Use of Falsified Documents) of the RPC.
Since the value of the shipments is over P10 million, they were also charged with for economic sabotage for large-scale agricultural smuggling under R.A. 10845 or the CMTA.
“We will make sure that importers and brokers blatantly violating Customs rules and regulations will face legal action and revocation of Customs accreditation. I have given BATAS Executive Director Lawyer Yasser Ismail Abbas strict instructions to go hard on smugglers and intensify the filing of cases against them, big or small,” Lapeña said. /je
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