119 smuggled live tarantulas seized at NAIA – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   October 30, 2020   •   181

MANILA, Philippines – Operatives of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have prevented another attempt of illegal wildlife trade by intercepting 119 live tarantulas this week.

The BOC on Friday said the live tarantulas were found concealed inside rubber shoes in DHL warehouse last Oct. 28.

The parcel, declared as “buty” — a Polish word for shoes— was shipped by a certain “Michal Krolicki” from Poland to a consignee in General Trias, Cavite.

“Through the vigilance of Customs operatives and examiners, the package yielded suspicious images, and was subjected to physical examination,” the BOC said in a statement.

Customs examiners uncovered different species of live tarantulas in individual plastic vials.

The seized tarantulas were immediately turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit (DENR WTMU) on October 29 for proper handling and disposal, the bureau said.

This is not the first time that the BOC intercepted smuggled wildlife species in NAIA.

In 2019, Customs NAIA intercepted 757 live tarantulas concealed inside oatmeal and cookie boxes and 87 live spiders inside white plastic canisters, both exported from Poland.

Tarantulas are classified as endangered wildlife species, and illegal wildlife trading is penalized with imprisonment of six months and one day to one year and a fine of P10,000 to P200,000 pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act; while unlawful importation is penalized with not less than 30 days and one day but not more than six months or a fine of not less than P25,000 but not more than P75,000, or both, if the appraised value of goods unlawfully imported, including duties and taxes, does not exceed Php250,000.00 under Section 1401 of RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The BOC-NAIA assured that despite the pandemic, it will sustain collective effort to protect the country’s premier airport against all fraudulent attempts to import and/or export endangered wildlife species, aside from dangerous drugs and other high risk and dangerous contrabands that pose threat to national security and public health.

Customs condemns over 4,000 kilos of expired medicines, other seized goods

Robie de Guzman   •   December 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday said its operatives in the Port of Clark have disposed of a total of 4,146 kilograms of various goods and products that were abandoned and seized last November 24 in Trece Martires City, Cavite.

Among the disposed of items were assorted expired medicines, food supplements, cosmetic products, and other items which were brought into the country without the necessary permit/approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as required under Section 117 of R.A. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

The BOC said the condemnation activity was made in accordance with Section 1145 of the CMTA.

It was facilitated by the Port of Clark Auction and Cargo Disposal Unit in the presence of representatives from the FDA, the Commission on Audit (COA), the Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), and the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS).

The bureau said the Port of Clark consistently dispose of all overstaying, abandoned, seized, and forfeited articles “to maximize storage space within the port.”

The measure also seeks to “inform the public that such items should not be imported without compliance to existing rules and regulations of the Bureau of Customs and other government agencies.”

Finance chief orders BIR, BOC to probe coops used for rice imports

Robie de Guzman   •   November 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs to assist in the investigation being conducted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) into the reported use of cooperatives by private traders as dummies for rice imports.

“There’s this question now as to why traders are using coops to import rice …. Let’s look into that because they might be using the tax advantage on rice imports,” Dominguez told BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay and BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero during a recent executive committee meeting.

Dominguez issued the directive following the DA’s decision to temporarily halt the issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPSIC) to farmers’ cooperatives and irrigators’ associations for commercial purposes.

Through Administrative Order No. 34 issued in October, the DA suspended the SPSICs to coops and irrigators’ associations, effectively barring them from importing rice, after the DA received reports that these organizations have resorted to rice imports rather than carry out their purpose of procuring local rice from farmers.

Both the DOF and DA have also received reports that the SPSICs issued to cooperatives have been misused by traders to avoid legal responsibilities and evade the payment of the correct amount of import taxes.

Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko also noted that while cooperatives are not exempted from paying duties for importing rice, they can be exempted from paying the income tax on these imports if they are registered with the BIR as tax-exempt entities.

Through the AO, the DA directed the Bureau of Plant Industry to probe and to consult with affected stakeholders “to come up with new policies and rules to avoid circumvention of the laws” and to protect the farmers and cooperatives form exploitation.

Customs NAIA seizes $38,700 US Dollar bills hidden inside magazines

Robie de Guzman   •   November 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday said its operatives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have intercepted a total of $38,700 US Dollar bills concealed between pages of magazines.

In a statement, the BOC said the bills were found hidden inside three packages in Fedex Warehouse.

The parcels, misdeclared as “documents,” arrived on Nov. 2. These were all sent by a certain Jacqueline Paas from the United States of America and are consigned to individuals from Poblacion, Muntinlupa City.

When subjected to 100% physical examination, the packages were found to contain the smuggled banknotes.

Just last week, the BOC NAIA similarly intercepted US$13,500 undeclared foreign currencies.

In sum, for the year 2020, the port issued Warrants of Seizure and Detention against various currencies with aggregate equivalent value of Php29,875,000.

“The seized foreign currencies shall be subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings in violation of Sections 1400 (Misdeclaration) and 1113 of R.A. No. 10863 (CMTA) in relation to the R.A. 7653 (New Central Bank Act) and BSP Foreign Exchange Transaction Manual,” the BOC said.

The bureau reminded the public that the BSP Manual of Foreign Exchange Transaction requires the faithful declaration and accomplishment of Foreign Currency Declaration Forms for importation and exportation of foreign currency in excess of USD10,000 or its equivalent.

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.