BOC seizes P15 million worth of PPEs suspected to be smuggled in Manila
Robie de Guzman • April 1, 2020 • 504
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday said it has seized P15 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) suspected to be smuggled in a series of operations in Manila.
The BOC said the PPEs were confiscated from three shops in Sta. Cruz, Manila that were jointly raided by the agents of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday, March 31.
Authorities recovered various PPEs, including gloves, face masks (surgical and N95), and goggles that are suspected to have been misdeclared as general merchandise when imported into the country.
“Smuggled PPE may pose a health risk to users since such items may not comply with the safety standards set by the government rendering them not fit for human utilization,” the bureau said in a statement.
The BOC said the inventory of said products is ongoing, while store owners were given 15 days to present necessary documents to prove that the items were legally imported.
“If proven that the PPEs were smuggled the store owners may face charges of smuggling in relation to the provisions of The Customs Modernization Act (CMTA),” the BOC said.
“Although the Bureau is focused in expediting the importation of PPE and other medical supplies badly needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency is also committed in ensuring that goods are within acceptable standards and are safe for the public use,” it added.
The BOC recently raided a shop allegedly selling PPE and alcohol at exorbitant prices online amid high demand for such medical supplies.
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.
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).
Authorities raided a warehouse in Santiago, Isabela where an abandoned truck was discovered to contain 86 master cases of fake Marvel and Mighty cigarettes.
“The Bureau of Customs reiterates its commitment to prevent the entry of smuggled and fake goods as the same may have serious effects on the health of unknowing users as well as the impact it will have on legitimate manufacturers and importers,” the BOC said in a statement.
The agency also reported that inventory procedures are currently on-going to determine the exact volume and amount of the seized cigarettes. AAC
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