MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs–Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BOC-BATAS) filed criminal complaints against alleged four illegal traders of imported onions and garlic from China amounting to more than P22.68 million.
In its Facebook post, the BOC said it has filed a criminal case against FLEVO Trading for the alleged unlawful importation and misdeclaration of the said shipments declared as “Fresh Yellow Onions and Garlic”.
The shipments, with an estimated value of P13,194,368.22, were found to have misdeclared weight and over the total allowable importation in their import permits.
The incident happened on 14 and 16 July 2021, at the Manila International Container Port.
Another criminal case was filed against GBJ Consumer Goods Trading for the alleged unlawful importation and misdeclaration of its shipment declared as “pastries ingredients”.
The shipment, however, was found to contain onions with a total value of P1,721,224.03 on 19 July 2021, at the Port of Davao.
The BOC also reported filing a criminal complaint against JDFALLAR Consumer Goods Trading for a similar offense on its shipments declared as “cream cheese” but were found to contain onions amounting to P5,178,281.58 on 10 August 2021, at the Port of Cagayan de Oro.
The agency also charged PDCC Consumer Goods Trading with a criminal case for the unlawful importation and misdeclaration of its shipment said to contain “frozen puff pastry” but was found to contain onions on 10 August 2021, at the Port of Cagayan de Oro.
According to the BOC, criminal and administrative charges were filed against the customs brokers who processed the importation of the subject smuggled agricultural products.
“The importers and the customs brokers violated Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), Republic Act No. 10845, otherwise known as the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, and other pertinent laws, rules, and regulations,” the BOC said.