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BOC intercepts 200 container vans of smuggled rice at Manila Port

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2018

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

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Duterte orders military takeover in the Bureau of Customs

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, October 29th, 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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Duterte orders suspension of officials linked to missing 23K sacks of smuggled rice

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, October 4th, 2018


Smuggled sacks of rice in a Zamboanga City warehouse | Image via Zamboanga City Government Facebook account

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the suspension of officials responsible for the disappearance of 23,000 sacks of smuggled rice in Zamboanga City in September.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena has already ordered the administrative relief of Zamboanga Customs District Collector Lyceo Martinez and Customs Police District Commander Filomeno Salazar due to the incident.

“Nagalit po talaga ang presidente because how can you lose 23,000 sacks,” said Roque.

“Obviously it cannot be done in a clandestine manner. Nakita ng lahat na inilalabas itong mga nahuling bigas at incredible at kagalit-galit na napupuslit ang ganitong karaming bigas na nahuli na ng gobyerno na being smuggled,” he added.

Authorities were able to recover 16,000 sacks after a series of raids in various warehouses.

There are still 17,000 sacks missing, some of which may have already been repacked and distributed to stores, which is why the President has ordered the National Food Authority, the Bureau of Customs and the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a thorough investigation into the case. — Rosalie Coz

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BOC hauls P26M-worth of misdeclared goods

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

BOC hauls P8M-worth of misdeclared goods on October 2, 2018


MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday (October 2) seized P8 million worth of misdeclared goods loaded inside two(2) 40-foot container vans at the Manila International Container Port.

The shipment, declared as second-hand truck parts, arrived on September 8 and consigned under N.S.G.V. Trading.

It was discovered on September 14 through x-ray screening that the container vans contained brand new tire wheels valued at P3 million.

Meanwhile, another consignee, D.3.S. Trading failed to claim its shipment which arrived on May 9, 2018. The items were declared as paper, mosquito nets and clothes.

Nonetheless, the BOC issued an alert order against the shipment because the second screening on August 20,2018 revealed that the contents of the container van were actually a forklift, 18 drums of glycerol chemical, computer mother boards and cellular phones with an overall value of P5 million.

The BOC issued a warrant of seizure of goods and detention of owners against the shipment.

The agency will launch an investigation to identify the persons who processed the documents for the attempt to deliver the goods.

“So this is another case of lift and alert scheme of the Bureau. So madadagdagan na iyong kinasauhan natin na personnel ng Bureau of Customs na ganitong klaseng mga modus (operandi),” Customs Chief Isidro Lapeña said.

The BOC will set the condemnation of the seized items in the coming days, together with the 885 cases of cigarettes from South Korea worth P18 million that had been abandoned since September 2017.

However, the BOC plans to auction the brand new tires if they pass quality standards.

Commissioner Lapeña assured they are on alert for the surge of shipment this holiday season, the time of the year when smuggling activities are rampant. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo).

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