Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized 200 containers loaded with smuggled rice at Manila International Container Port. (UNTV News and Rescue)
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported on Thursday, June 14, that the agency has intercepted 200 container vans loaded with a total of 100,000 sacks of smuggled rice at the Manila International Container Port in the first week of June.
Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña confirmed the seizure of thousands of sacks of Thailand White Rice from Vietnam under the consignee, Sta. Rosa Farm Products Corporation.
BOC alerted other agencies regarding a shipment that had no import permit as required by the National Food Authority (NFA.)
Lapeña noted the NFA Circular AO-2013-04-0002 which states that all rice importers should secure an NFA permit before being allowed entry of imported rice to the country.
Based on BOC’s assessment, the 100,000 sacks of smuggled rice are valued at P250 million with duties and taxes amounting to P31.4 million for the 150 container vans while the remaining 50 containers are still under abandonment proceedings.
The importer of the shipment is likely to face charges for violation of Section 1113 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act as well as charges for agricultural smuggling.
Lapeña said this is by far the biggest haul of agricultural products since he assumed as BOC chief. – Aiko Miguel / Marje Pelayo