P1.2-M worth of smuggled cigarettes seized in Port of Zamboanga

Marje Pelayo   •   July 12, 2019   •   1597

Courtesy: Bureau of Customs

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — A total of 2,125 reams of smuggled cigarettes amounting to P1.2 million were confiscated at the port of Zamboanga on Wednesday (July 10).

According to the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the illegal shipments were uncovered on board three passenger vessels: MV Mama Mia, MV Mary Joy 1 and MV Asian Stars, all from Jolo, Sulu.

Members of the BOC Enforcement and Security Service (BOC-ESS) and the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) launched the operation with assistance from the Naval Intelligence and Security Group – Western Mindanao and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The latest seizure caused concern for the BOC noting the prevalence of cigarette smuggling in the area, according to Zamboanga District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte.

The BOC cited that the agency already hauled P60 million worth of smuggled cigarettes just between April and June this year.

Nevertheless, Barte stressed that the Bureau will continue its fervent effort to fight illicit cigarette trade in cooperation with concerned government agencies. The seized cigarettes were already turned over to the BOC for immediate destruction

BOC warns public against ‘unclaimed package’ scam

Marje Pelayo   •   July 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) warns the public against the so-called ‘unclaimed package’ scam.

The Bureau has been receiving reports of scam incidents involving unscrupulous individuals luring victims with a supposed unclaimed package at Customs using various means of communication such as online, e-mail, SMS and even phone calls.

Scammers allegedly use dummies or fake accounts. At times they would even use the Bureau’s name or pose as employees to deceive victims into paying duties and taxes through money remittance or personal bank accounts for the release of a certain package.

They even send bogus receipts, tracking numbers of packages and other documents to the victims to make the transaction seem legitimate.

Some scammers also use sophisticated methods such as the use of fake courier tracking websites that victims would be asked to visit to see the status of the supposed parcel.

The BOC reiterates that it solely assesses duties and taxes on parcels and these can be paid on a cash basis through the courier or freight forwarder upon delivery at the client’s doorstep or upon pick up of the parcel at the nearest local branch.

Furthermore, said duties and taxes can only be collected through BOC-accredited agent banks and not through personal bank accounts or other money transfer services.

Meanwhile, alleged tracking websites can be verified with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its website to see if the said courier is a DTI-accredited deconsolidator.

The public is advised to be careful in dealing with suspicious notifications and individuals asking for money.

How to spot a scammer?

  • Scammer fails to provide the address of their office
  • Scammer insists on paying through online banks and money remittance

What to do?

  • Immediately inform the Customs helpdesk or the BOC-CARES through email at boc.cares@customs.gov.ph or send a message tot he BOC’s Facebook page – Bureau of Customs PH

Report online scams to the cybercrime offices of the Philippine National Police or National Bureau of Investigation.

No photo description available.

Plane makes emergency landing off Zamboanga City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 7, 2020

A pilot and three passengers were rescued after a private plane made an emergency landing near the shoreline of Barangay Sinunuc in Zamboanga City on Tuesday (July 7).

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said the private plane was already on the water approximately six feet depth and six meters away from the shoreline of Barangay Sinunuc when their rescue team arrived.

The four rescued: an Indian pilot and three passengers (Filipino, Indian and Nepali) were all in good condition and were transported to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in Zamboanga City for further assistance.

Based on initial investigation, the private plane took off from Zamboanga Airport bound for Dumaguete City at around 9:30 a.m. today. The pilot said there was a failure on the left engine a few minutes after they took off from the airport which prompted the emergency landing.

BOC NAIA conducts stricter agri products inspection amid new swine flu

Maris Federez   •   July 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Custom (BOC) announced that its personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has intercepted a total of 775.6 kilograms of meat and meat products without Sanitary & Phytosanitary clearances from January to June 2020.

In a statement released on Saturday (July 4), the BOC said the meat and meat products that they have confiscated include 268.2 kilograms of pork, 106.4 kilograms of beef, 298.2 kilograms of poultry, and 102 kilograms of other kinds of meat.

The BOC added these products arrived without permits and health clearance, and were brought in through NAIA from African Swine Fever (ASF) infected countries.

“All the items were turned over to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) for quarantine and immediate disposal to prevent the spread of the virus dangerous to local health and to the food industry,” the press release read.

It added that, with the emergence of a new strain of swine flu virus, the frontliners of the BOC-NAIA who man the passenger area and air cargo warehouses are on high alert against the possible entry of contaminated meat products.

“Customs NAIA has been consistent in protecting our local industry from any possible swine and agricultural epidemic and supports the directive of Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero to continuously monitor and safeguard the country’s borders,” the statement concluded. —/mbmf

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