BOC intercepts 200 container vans of smuggled rice at Manila Port

Marje Pelayo   •   June 14, 2018   •   4906

Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized 200 containers loaded with smuggled rice at Manila International Container Port. (UNTV News and Rescue)


MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported on Thursday, June 14, that the agency has intercepted 200 container vans loaded with a total of 100,000 sacks of smuggled rice at the Manila International Container Port in the first week of June.

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña confirmed the seizure of thousands of sacks of Thailand White Rice from Vietnam under the consignee, Sta. Rosa Farm Products Corporation.

BOC alerted other agencies regarding a shipment that had no import permit as required by the National Food Authority (NFA.)

Lapeña noted the NFA Circular AO-2013-04-0002 which states that all rice importers should secure an NFA permit before being allowed entry of imported rice to the country.

Based on BOC’s assessment, the 100,000 sacks of smuggled rice are valued at P250 million with duties and taxes amounting to P31.4 million for the 150 container vans while the remaining 50 containers are still under abandonment proceedings.

The importer of the shipment is likely to face charges for violation of Section 1113 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act as well as charges for agricultural smuggling.

Lapeña said this is by far the biggest haul of agricultural products since he assumed as BOC chief. – Aiko Miguel / Marje Pelayo

Deer head seized at Manila Port, handed over to DENR

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) turned over on Tuesday (September 24) to the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) a piece of deer head smuggled into the Philippines without the necessary import permit.

The BOC said the deer head was discovered inside a parcel declared as household goods and personal effects that arrived at the Manila International Container Port on July 12, 2019 from Guam.

The subject good was seized for violation of Sections 11 and 27 of Republic Act No. 9147 otherwise known as Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, and Section 117 in relation to Section 1113 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

BOC Zamboanga seizes smuggled rice and cigarettes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 21, 2019

Boxes of smuggled cigarettes intercepted by the BOC along Pangutaran, Sulu and Isabela City, Basilan on August 19, 2019 | Courtesy: BOC Zamboanga

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Zamobanga has seized smuggled rice and cigarettes on Monday (Aug 19) along Pangutaran, Sulu and Isabela City, Basilan, respectively.

Preliminary reports said authorities found various sacks of rice inside ML Nhardzrmar-2 while it was docked in Baliwasan Seaside, Zamboanga City. Meanwhile, the smuggled cigarettes were intercepted aboard MV Trisha Kirstin-1 of Aleson Shipping Lines.

The seized goods were turned over to the BOC.

Meanwhile, District Collector of the Port of Zamboanga collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte has commended continued efforts to fight against smuggling particularly on agricultural products and other anti-social goods.

“The seizure of cigarettes should serve as a warning to smugglers and manufacturers of fake cigarettes,” according to BOC’s press release.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Duterte orders military takeover in the Bureau of Customs

Marje Pelayo   •   October 29, 2018


Bureau of Customs

MANILA, Philippines –President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a military takeover of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

After a major shift in its leadership and relief of commissioners and section chiefs, the President also placed all Customs employees under floating status and were required to report directly to the Office of the President.

“I’d like to put on notice everybody in the Bureau of Customs they are all floating status. They will — they can — maybe start again working but I said they are on floating status…all police — Customs police are also on floating status, everybody. The Customs Intelligence Unit, they are to report to Malacañang, all of them. I am ordering everybody to report to my office,” he said during the celebration of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano’s natal day on Sunday (October 28).

“They will be replaced all — all of them — by military men. It will be a takeover of the Armed Forces in the matter of operating in the meantime while we are sorting out how to effectively meet the challenges of corruption in this country,” the President said further.

The President explained that though he believes not everyone at BOC is corrupt, he said he has no time to check every single employee’s track record so he decided to remove everyone to weed out the agency of “thieves or robbers.”

“Baka sabihin ni Duterte, ‘Hindi naman kami lahat magnanakaw eh.’ Correct. So very correct. You are right. Not all of you are thieves or robbers, but you know you must be an idiot not to understand. You say that you are honest, that you are not part of the cabal there. And so? If that is your line, I cannot move and you stay there then I have to speculate if you are really a gangster working for the Bureau of Customs, a government employee,” President Duterte said.

“I do not have time for that…you try to sort out there from the inside. No, I’d like them out, then one by one if they are still deserved. If none then since I cannot fire them I’ll have to file a case which could — appeal after appeal it could maybe last for another 10 years. And so by that time, we have lost so many billions and you are destroying my country,” he added.

President Duterte’s order came after he transferred former Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and replaced him with former Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) administrator Retired AFP chief of staff General Rey Leonardo Guerrero.

Lapeña was placed in hot water after a shipment of shabu valued at P6.8B  loaded inside four magnetic lifters,  slipped Customs inspection in August. – Marje Pelayo


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