Customs NAIA seizes $38,700 US Dollar bills hidden inside magazines

Robie de Guzman   •   November 17, 2020   •   496

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday said its operatives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have intercepted a total of $38,700 US Dollar bills concealed between pages of magazines.

In a statement, the BOC said the bills were found hidden inside three packages in Fedex Warehouse.

The parcels, misdeclared as “documents,” arrived on Nov. 2. These were all sent by a certain Jacqueline Paas from the United States of America and are consigned to individuals from Poblacion, Muntinlupa City.

When subjected to 100% physical examination, the packages were found to contain the smuggled banknotes.

Just last week, the BOC NAIA similarly intercepted US$13,500 undeclared foreign currencies.

In sum, for the year 2020, the port issued Warrants of Seizure and Detention against various currencies with aggregate equivalent value of Php29,875,000.

“The seized foreign currencies shall be subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings in violation of Sections 1400 (Misdeclaration) and 1113 of R.A. No. 10863 (CMTA) in relation to the R.A. 7653 (New Central Bank Act) and BSP Foreign Exchange Transaction Manual,” the BOC said.

The bureau reminded the public that the BSP Manual of Foreign Exchange Transaction requires the faithful declaration and accomplishment of Foreign Currency Declaration Forms for importation and exportation of foreign currency in excess of USD10,000 or its equivalent.

BOC generates over P1-B revenue from auctioning overstaying cargoes

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) said it has collected more than P1 billion worth of revenues from the disposal of overstaying containers last year.

In a statement issue Thursday, the BOC said its Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group, Auction and Cargo Disposal Division and auction and cargo disposal units of all collection districts disposed a total of 3,514 overstaying containers from January to December 2020.

“The disposition of overstaying containers resulted in revenue generation of P1,076,588,805.44 from public auction of 1,898 containers of assorted items such as TV, Tiles, Plywood, among others, and condemnation of 1,346 containers and donation of the remaining 270 containers,” the bureau said.

The BOC said that the disposal of overstaying cargoes will help improve the ease of doing business in the bureau, and decongestion of ports and yards.

Overstaying containers are either seized or abandoned.

Under Customs Memorandum Order 10-2020, overstaying cargoes for more than 30 days from the date of discharge which have not been withdrawn within the specified period of time shall be tagged abandoned. Upon finality of the Decree of Abandonment, the Bureau shall then make the proper determination as to its disposition.

Under Section 1141 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, goods subject to disposition may be donated, declared for official use by the Bureau, or sold at public auction, while goods suitable for shelter, or consisting of foodstuffs, clothing materials, or medicines may be donated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

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)

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