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BOC seizes counterfeit shoes and clothes from various consignees

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, June 29th, 2017


MANILA, Philippines — Boxes of fake products are piled at the Manila International Container Port.

It is hard to tell the counterfeit products from the authentic ones.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) confiscated the cargo which came from various countries consigned under different names.

The BOC said the contraband items are worth billions of pesos; a huge loss to the government’s target revenue collection.

“This appears to be branded products but we found out that these are replica so there are IPR violations,” BOC spokesperson, retired Col. Neil Estrella said.

Aside from the fake products, the BOC also seized boxes of old clothes.

The BOC said it could not donate the clothes for relief operations as it remains unclear where country the contrabands came from.

In the process of the BOC, such contraband’s cannot be auctioned off and should only be destroyed.

“These used clothes are prohibited from being sold in our country. These might have health hazards, and have not undergone quality control. We do not know where these came from,” Estrella said.

Those involved in the smuggling of fake products will face cancellation of importation permits and charges for violating intellectual property rights.

“We will either suspend their accreditation. That’s how serious we are. In just less than a year, we have already cancelled accreditation of many companies,” Estrella added.

Based on the estimates of the BOC, the agency has revoked the import accreditation of more than 700 importation companies.

The number might further increase to a thousand as the agency continues to go after importers and brokers involved in smuggling and corruption.

The BOC met with companies of high end brands to resolve the widespread selling of fake products in the market.

Copying of products, reproduction, and selling in the market are clear violation of the intellectual property rights. This is why the BOC is coordinating with companies whose products are always being copied so it could immediately arrest and hold responsible those involved in the copying. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News and Rescue

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Over 700 live poisonous tarantulas seized at NAIA

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Tarantula | Photos courtesy: BOC

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized parcels full of live poisonous tarantula at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Monday (April 1).

Around 757 live tarantulas, valued at P310,000, were intercepted by Customs agents at the Central Mail Exchange Center in Pasay City.

The tarantulas, classified as endangered wildlife species, were found concealed in “gift-wrapped oatmeal and cookies,” according to BOC district collector Carmelita Talusan.

“The shipment was sent from Poland by a certain Wojciech Pakasz and was consigned to Jesse Camaro, a resident of Caloocan,” she added.

BOC said that individuals involved in illegal wildlife trading may face imprisonment of at least one year and a fine of P20,000 to P200,000 based on Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Preservation Act.

Illegal wildlife traders may also face three to six years of imprisonment or a fine of not more than P300,000 under unlawful importation pursuant to Republic Act 10863 of the Customs Modernization Act.

The seized live tarantulas have been turned over by the BOC to the Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Tuesday (April 2).

BOC said that from 2018 up to present, they have already turned over to DENR “a total of 2,152 wildlife and endangered species including 250 geckos, 254 corals and other endangered reptiles which were apprehended thru air parcels, baggage and shipments.”

The bureau also recently intercepted 63 iguanas, chameleon and bearded dragons at the NAIA.

In March 2019, the agency gained global recognition for its anti-illegal trade efforts which led in the seizure of 1,529 turtles that were smuggled from Hong Kong.

BOC vowed to continue protecting the borders against importation and exportation of illegal wildlife trade and other prohibited and anti-social goods. – Robie de Guzman

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BOC assures to restore majority of files destroyed by fire

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

Bureau of Customs located at Port Area, Manila

(UPDATED) The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Manila will temporarily transfer its operations to the Customs’ gymnasium in South Harbor, Manila after a huge fire razed its building on Friday night.

Customs District Collector Rhea Gregorio on Saturday said the operations of the Formal Entry Division of the Port of Manila (POM) will be moved to the BOC’s gymnasium to ensure that its services will not be disrupted.

The fire that started around 9 p.m. at BOC’s POM building on Friday destroyed the third and fourth floors of the building, according to Gregorio.

She added that officials are hoping that the fire incident would not lead to delays in the release of shipments.

The BOC-Manila is currently coordinating with Asian Terminals Inc., and other nearby government offices, particularly the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to temporarily use their facilities to continue their operations.

Gregorio also assured the public that while the hard copies of the documents have been destroyed by the fire, they would be able to restore majority of their records in time.

This is through their computerized system and the duplicate copies of some of the documents.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said the blaze was put out at around 7 a.m. Saturday. Investigators are yet to provide details about the extent of the damage and the cause of fire. — Robie de Guzman

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Ex-Customs chief faces graft raps over release of 105 container vans

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

Former Customs chief and now Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Isidro Lapeña is facing graft raps over the alleged illegal release of 105 container vans from the port of Manila last March.

In a complaint filed with the Department of Justice, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) recommended that Lapeña “be charged and prosecuted for violation of section 3, paragraph (e) of Republic Act no. 3019, otherwise known as the ‘Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act’.”

The NBI pointed out that Lapeña issued manual alert orders for the subject container vans even though the electronic to mobile (e2m) system “was accessible and fully operational.”

NBI alleged that Lapeña’s action “led to the release of the shipments, escaping the revenues that the Republic of the Philippines is entitled to” which signifies [his] intention to cause injury to the government and took advantage of his office.”

Apart from this, the NBI also recommended Lapeña “be administratively charged with gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct.”

The former Customs chief has yet to comment on the complaint. — UNTV News & Rescue

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