BOC seizes P1.6-M worth of high-grade marijuana at NAIA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 9, 2019   •   572

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) intercepted 973 grams of suspected high-grade marijuana at the Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on December 6.

The suspected high-grade marijuana came from the United States and has an estimated value of P1.6 million.

According to a statement by the BOC on their social media, the parcel declared as “Marvel Comic and Child Sleeping Bag” was intercepted by NAIA customs frontliners and operatives in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

“The apprehended item was consigned to a certain individual from Taguig city and was found to contain three (3) vacuum sealed pouches of suspected Kush weed. The suspect was apprehended while claiming the said parcel,” the BOC reported.

“The suspect shall undergo inquest proceedings for violation of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization Tariff Act,” the BOC added.—AAC

P70M worth of illegal goods seized in Parañaque City warehouse

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 21, 2021

PARAÑAQUE CITY, Philippines— Around P70 million worth of illegal goods were seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in Tambo, Parañaque City on Monday (January 18).

A team consisting of members of the Port’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) implemented the Letter of Authority (LOA) and inspected the subject warehouse.

The inspection resulted in the discovery of various smuggled Chinese cigarettes, Chinese medicines, prohibited surgical mask, foodstuff, footwear, garments, and other imported goods.

Further investigation and inventory are ongoing for further case build up and filing of charges.

BOC vows immediate release of COVID-19 vaccines once supply arrives in PH

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday assured it will immediately facilitate the release of vaccines against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) once they arrive in the country.

The BOC said it has started inspecting warehouses in various international airports, and coordinated with concerned government agencies in preparation for the arrival of the vaccine supply in the country.

The government’s task force on COVID-19 response earlier said that the first batch of vaccines approved for use in the Philippines may be delivered starting next month.

BOC spokesperson Atty. Vincent Maronilla said they met with concerned agencies to discuss the protocols, permits and facilities needed for the arrival and processing of the approved vaccines.

Maronilla added that they have also conducted a study on how to expedite the process of issuing clearances and identified possible bottlenecks in the system to ensure that the vaccines’ release will not be delayed.

“Our time release study that we actually conducted in preparation for this particular importation, tumingin na kami ng proseso namin, nag-streamline na kami ng proseso naming, inidentify na namin yung mga bottlenecks na pupwede,” he said.

“When we say bottlenecks, marami rin kasi magpaparating ng ibang items hindi lang yan di ba? That it will be mere hours when this arrives at our airports and its release through the Bureau of Customs,” he added.

Maronilla said the bureau will also draft a reporting system that will allow the public to keep track the delivery of the vaccines.

“Part of the measures that we are going to undertake is also a regular report to the public… A public report for us to be transparent on how many vaccines have we processed, how many have we released similar to that which we adopted during the height of the pandemic para sa PPEs,” he said.

“Para aware ang taumbayan kung ilan talaga yung pumasok, may na-delay ba at hindi na-delay pra maiwasan natin ng misinformation, kumalat ang fake news,” he added.

The BOC said it will also put up a One-Stop-Shop for vaccines at the airports that will accommodate and assist incoming importations to fast-track the clearance process. RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Customs seized P9.75B worth of smuggled goods in 2020

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has confiscated an estimated P9.746 billion-worth of smuggled goods in 2020, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Tuesday.

Citing a report submitted by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the DOF said the Customs bureau seized smuggled cigarettes and other tobacco products in 150 out of 792 operations it conducted in the country’s ports last year.

“For the anti-smuggling effort of the BOC, the consolidated estimated value of seized shipments last year is P9.746 billion, of which P5.217 billion are from seizures of cigarettes and tobacco, P1.85 billion are from drugs seizure and P1.02 billion from counterfeit items,” Guerrero told Dominguez during a recent Executive Committee meeting.

The confiscated tobacco products made up 53.5 percent of the total amount of goods seized by the BOC during this period, Guerrero said.

Aside from tobacco products and illegal drugs, the BOC also seized P32.59 million-worth of various types of currencies from January to December 2020.

General merchandise worth P403.89 million, vehicles and automobile accessories valued at P354.53 million, and agricultural products amounting to about P207.7 million were also apprehended by the BOC, Guerrero said.

The BOC also seized personal protective equipment (PPEs), medical supplies and cosmetics worth P195.57 million; jewelry and other products, P69 million; foodstuff, P212 million; used clothing, P130.59 million; electronics goods, P31.07 million; steel products, P4.76 million; alcoholic beverages, P2.43 million; chemicals, P5 million; and firearms, P300,000.

From Jan. 1 to Dec. 28 last year, Guerrero said the BOC filed 74 criminal complaints before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against 268 respondents suspected of smuggling, and another 52 administrative cases before the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

As of Dec. 4, 2020, the BOC also ordered the closure of 20 customs-bonded warehouses (CBWs) and 40 members of customs common bonded warehouses (CCBWs) for various violations, Guerrero said.

“In 2020, the BOC already completed the inspection and investigation of a total of 150 Customs Bonded Warehouses and 247 Members of CCBWs,” Guerrero said.

Dominguez previously ordered the BOC and Bureau of Internal Revenue to intensify their respective operations against smugglers and tax evaders despite the mobility restrictions triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

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