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BOC seizes P18.5M worth of fake cigarettes

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, April 16th, 2018

Bureau of Customs

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized on April 10 boxes of smuggled and fake cigarettes from China at the Manila International Container Port.

The shipment was declared artificial fur texture and consigned to Marid Industrial Marketing located in Paco, Manila.

The total estimated worth of the shipment is at P18.5 million.

BOC Commissioner Isidro Lapeña believes that the contraband were supposed to be sold in the provinces at a cheaper price.

“Pwede nilang patungan (they can put a markup) and then sell it even at a lower price than the original ones,” he explained.

The shipment will go through seizure and forfeiture proceedings over violations of Section 1400 of the Republic Act 10863 o the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

Meanwhile, the importer and the broker of the shipment are to face suspension and revocation of accreditation. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Manila court resets arraignment of accused in P6.4 billion shabu smuggling case

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, April 7th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Mark Taguba (center) under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigations

The arraignment of the accused in the P 6.4 billion shabu smuggling case has been deferred for the second time.

In a hearing on Friday, a lawyer for accused Customs broker Mark Taguba said they will seek a reconsideration of the court’s resolution dismissing their motion to exclude the seized drugs from the evidence.

According to Atty. Raymund Fortun, the Bureau of Customs unlawfully opened the cylinders where the shabu shipment was allegedly stored.

He said there was no search warrant presented nor was it authorized by then Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon.

“If the evidence is obtained in unlawful means or not in accordance with our laws, all of these evidence become inadmissible, these are set aside,” said Atty. Fortun.

The court gave Taguba five days to file his motion for reconsideration while the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecution team was allowed to reply afterwards.

“We also ask the same period of time, if necessary, to file a reply,” said DOJ Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Ramoncito Ocampo, Jr.

The Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46 decided to reset the arraignment to April 27.

Aside from Taguba, Eirene Mae Tatad, the alleged consignee of the drug shipment, was also present at the hearing.

The other accused, including Chinese businessmen Richard Tan and Kenneth Dong, remain at large.

The case stemmed from the seizure of over 600 kilos of shabu in two warehouses in Valenzuela City in May last year. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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BOC: Upsurge in smuggling case seen due to TRAIN Law

by UNTV   |   Posted on Monday, March 26th, 2018

Bureau of Customs

FILE PHOTO: Bureau of Customs facade

MANILA, Philippines — From 2002 to 2011, the government revenue loss was at P 1.33 trillion.

According to a study conducted by the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI), this happened because of smuggling activities in the country’s ports.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is concerned that this will continue to increase if the government will not act on the problem.

BOC Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said they see an upsurge of smuggling cases due to the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

“Even before the TRAIN, smuggling is already something that is profitable to people engaged in shortchanging the government of its rightful revenue. Lalo na ngayon na (Especially now that) there is an additional, increase of duties and taxes because of the TRAIN,” said Lapeña.

With the expected upsurge, BOC will fast-track the handling smuggling cases by implementing a regulated period in solving this cases in court.

This is aside from the intensified campaign of the bureau to crack down smuggling operations.

“We came up with a timeline which will find our legal officer or lawyers that the procedure or process in handling cases will be in a time frame and a certain period of time,” said the commissioner.

Lapeña said they will finish the hearing procedures in one month and must file a resolution in the next 30 days.

The BOC pointed out that long court proceedings result in corruption which contributes to more revenue loss.

With all these measures in place, BOC is confident to hit their target of P627-billion revenue by the end of 2018. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue


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2 high-ranking BOC officials deny collecting “tara”

by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

(Left-Right) BOC Deputy Commissioner Edward Dy Buco and Deputy Commissioner Natalio Ecarma III

MANILA, Philippines — The two deputy commissioners of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has denied involvement in corruption at the agency.

This is contrary to what Senator Panfilo Lacson had exposed in his privilege speech in August 2017 when he named them as among those who received “tara” from importers.

“I vehemently deny the inclusion of my office and my name,” BOC Deputy Commissioner Edward Dy Buco said.

Deputy Commissioner Natalio Ecarma III noted, “Syndicates that we are up against are deeply entrenched, well-funded, politically connected and highly influential,”

Meanwhile, during the 14th hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the corruption issue in the BOC, Senator Richard Gordon said he did not see any solid pieces of evidence against the personalities in Senator Lacson’s tara list.

‘Walang naglabas ng ebidensya (Nobody presented evidence). I wish Senator Lacson will come out,” said Gordon.

Despite this, Customs chief Isidro Lapeña will continue to investigate the corruption issue in his agency.

“The investigation is a continuing one and this will cover not just those that were revealed by Senator Lacson, also those who are doing it who were not mentioned,” Lapena said. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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