Public warned against scammers using fake BOC emails, web links

Robie de Guzman   •   August 7, 2020   •   246

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday warned the public against unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of initiatives to promote the use of online systems amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic by posing as bureau personnel to extort money from their victims.

The BOC issued the warning following reports of people claiming to have communicated with individuals allegedly from the bureau who in turn ask payment for the release of their packages.

The bureau said these scammers are using fake Bureau of Customs e-mail accounts and websites as means to swindle their victims.

The BOC reiterated that the official website of the Bureau of Customs is http://customs.gov.ph and it is using e-mail address boc.cares@customs.gov.ph to cater to stakeholder concerns.

The agency said it is now coordinating with the National Bureau of Investigation to take down these fake accounts and bring the scammers to justice.

It also reminded the public to remain vigilant against criminals who take advantage of technology to commit unscrupulous acts.

Customs NAIA seizes $8,000 US dollar bills hidden inside magazine

Robie de Guzman   •   September 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Monday said it intercepted $8,000 US dollar bills concealed between the pages of a cooking magazine.

In a statement, the BOC said the parcel was seized at the Fedex warehouse on Sept. 25. It was misdeclared as “correspondence” from New Jersey, USA and consigned to a certain resident in San Pedro, Laguna.

The bureau said the smuggled banknotes, which are in $50 and $100 bills, were discovered after the package was passed through the X-ray machine and was subjected to physical examination.

“The seized foreign currency 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,” it said.

The bureau added that the case records will likewise be referred to Bureau Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) and Legal Service for further investigation, case build up and prosecution for violation of Sections 1400, 1401 of the CMTA in relation to the New Central Bank Act.

The BOC advised the public to refrain from attempts to engage in similar fraudulent schemes as the BSP Manual of Foreign Exchange Transaction simply 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.

P1.8 million worth of ecstasy pills seized in Pasay City

Robie de Guzman   •   September 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities intercepted another smuggled shipment of party drug ecstasy worth P1.8 million in Pasay City.

The shipment, which contains 980 pieces of ecstasy pills, were found in a parcel misdeclared as “samples” at the Central Mail Exchange Center.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) seized the shipment with the help of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group.

The package was shipped by a certain “U Janssen” from Netherlands and consigned to a certain “Joey S. Ramos Jr.” from Malate, Manila.

The BOC said the party drugs were found after the parcel was subjected to X-Ray scanning and 100% physical examination.

The examination yielded three vacuum sealed pouches containing different colors of pills – gray, turquoise, and orange pills – that were concealed inside a brown envelope.

Field tests conducted by authorities confirmed that the seized Tablets were indeed Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) or commonly known as ecstasy.

The BOC said the contraband was turned over to the PDEA on Thursday for profiling and case build-up against the importers and other personalities involved for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to Section 1401 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

BOC destroys tons of seized illegal vape products, other goods

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Around 21 tons of unsafe and hazardous goods were destroyed in a facility in Trece Martires, Cavite, the Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) said on Monday.

In a statement, the BOC said the items, which included unregistered vape products, medicines and other supplies, were destroyed on Sept. 9.

The vape products were seized for lack of necessary importation permits from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the bureau added.

Vape products are used for inhalation of vapor created by an electronic cigarette and other similar devices. These items have cartridges filled with liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings ad chemicals.

The importation and use of vape products were highly regulated by the FDA in view of its noted health hazards, while the importation of unregistered vape products was prohibited under Republic Act No. 11467.

The BOC-NAIA similarly condemned expired food supplies, dietary supplements, medicines, medical kits and devices, glutathione products which were also imported without the necessary FDA permit.

These products can pose health risks if not disposed properly, the bureau said.

Part of the condemned goods last September 9 were other regulated items such as animal feeds, cements, electrical items, bulbs and batteries that were imported without necessary clearances.

The BOC said it will continue to check unsafe and hazardous goods arriving into the country without the proper approval and safety standards clearance to protect consumers and to ensure that only products certified by regulatory agencies with necessary permits are released in the country’s ports of entry.

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