BOC crushes smuggled cigarette-making machines, fake master cases

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2019   •   467

MANILA, Philippines – Several units of smuggled cigarette manufacturing machines, fake cigarette master cases and other packaging materials were destroyed at the Port of Clark, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said on Monday.

In a statement, the BOC said seven units of cigarette-making machines, one unit of plastic recycling machine, a manual lifter, a generator set, and a generator cooling system were crushed using a backhoe.

The agency said these items were seized last February 19 and forfeited last July 26 for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

The BOC said the destruction of smuggled materials was part of its efforts to prevent illicit trade and customs fraud.

“The said activity sends a strong message to smugglers to stop their illegal business practices, shortchanging the government of the rightful revenues,” the agency said.

The BOC at the Port of Clark, meanwhile, said that on Tuesday, Nov. 19, two more sets of cigarette-making machines, one set of automatic strapping machine, plastic shredding facility, as well as 145 cigarette master cases, packaging materials, and tax stamps will also be destroyed.

The said items were confiscated last March 5, 2018, and forfeited last August 6 for violation of the CMTA, Intellectual Property Rights Law, National Tobacco Administration Circular No. 3-2014, BOC Memorandum Circular No. 15-2015 and 20-2006 and BIR Revenue Regulation No. 1-97.

Over P186 million worth of smuggled cigarettes seized in Manila Port

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Around seven containers carrying undeclared cigarettes were intercepted at the Manila International Container Port (MICP), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement on Monday, the BOC said around 6,249 master cases of Two Moon, Mighty, Marvel and D&B Cigarettes that are estimated to have the market value of P P186.9 million were found inside the containers upon physical examination of its personnel.

Verification of documents showed that the shipment came from China and were declared to contain towels, school bags, bed sheets, non-woven bags and fabrics.

The BOC said the operation marks the biggest apprehension of smuggled cigarettes by MICP.

Possible charges may be filed against those behind the shipment for violation of Section 117 in relation to Section 1113 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and other relative National Tobacco Administration (NTA) and Bureau of Internal revenue (BIR) rules and regulations, the bureau added.

Importer who squeezed in 63 reptiles inside luggage convicted for high-profile wildlife smuggling

Marje Pelayo   •   July 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday (July 23) announced the conviction of an importer who tried to illegally sneak in 63 reptiles into the country.

According to the BOC, Judge Allan Ariola of Pasay City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 48, sentenced the importer a penalty of three to six months imprisonment for violation of Republic Act No. 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001.

The imported exotic wildlife include 54 Iguanas; two Basilisk; four Veiled Chameleon and three Bearded Dragon.

The importer, who flew in from Bangkok, Thailand, was intercepted in February 2019 by BOC personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 through an after-flight screening upon arrival.

The animals, which were concealed inside his luggage, had no import permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

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Smuggled cigarettes worth P107 million seized at Port of Davao

Robie de Guzman   •   July 22, 2020

The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Davao said it has intercepted four 40-foot containers of illegally imported cigarettes valued at P107,414,676.74 through the continuous coordination with the bureau’s Intelligence Group (IG) and Enforcement Group (EG).

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the BOC said intelligence reports earlier revealed that the first two containers that arrived last July 10 at the Davao International Container Terminal (DICT) were said to contain 2,180 boxes of brand-new tissue papers.

“However, subsequent derogatory information was received from IG and EG that led to the issuance of a Pre-Lodgment Control Order (PLCO) after discovering that no goods declaration was lodged by the consignee and possible misdeclaration of the said commodity,” the bureau said.

The shipment was consigned to Golden Aark Enterprises.

Authorities then conducted non-intrusive inspection and 100% physical examination that yielded misdeclaration of goods as 1,205 boxes Astro Branded Cigarettes and 942 boxes of YS filter cigarettes resulting to the apprehension last July 14.

The BOC said two more containers arrived at the same terminal last July 12 declaring 1,940 boxes of the same commodity.

Authorities conducted x-ray inspection and 100% examination that revealed 942 boxes of YS filter cigarettes and 941 Fort Branded Cigarettes which were also apprehended last July 16 at DICT.

The agency noted that the previous apprehension had the offenders trying to outsmart the system by not declaring the shipment’s details in the e-manifest – a system by which BOC determines the cargo’s details and its intended port of destination.

However, intensified intel gathering revealed that the intended destination of these shipments was Davao; to which customs has sole jurisdiction in conducting examination.

“In the midst of the pandemic, Customs Davao shall ensure that its border security protocols, and coordination with partner agencies remain steadfast in securing the borders of Mindanao” Customs Davao District Collector, Atty. Erastus Sandino Austria said.

The bureau said Austria issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) to these illicit articles in violation of Executive Order No.245 “Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exportation and Importation of Leaf Tobacco and Tobacco Products”, Graphic Health Warnings (GHW) Law or R.A. 10643, otherwise known as “An Act to Effectively Instill Health Consciousness through Graphic Health Warning on Tobacco Products.” and section 117 of R.A. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

Last June 3, 2020, the agency said that Sub-port Dadiangas in General Santos City also apprehended 1,325 boxes of smuggled cigarettes from Vietnam valued at more than Php 24 million.

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