Smuggled cigarettes worth P107 million seized at Port of Davao
Robie de Guzman • July 22, 2020 • 450
The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Davao said it has intercepted four 40-foot containers of illegally imported cigarettes valued at P107,414,676.74 through the continuous coordination with the bureau’s Intelligence Group (IG) and Enforcement Group (EG).
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the BOC said intelligence reports earlier revealed that the first two containers that arrived last July 10 at the Davao International Container Terminal (DICT) were said to contain 2,180 boxes of brand-new tissue papers.
“However, subsequent derogatory information was received from IG and EG that led to the issuance of a Pre-Lodgment Control Order (PLCO) after discovering that no goods declaration was lodged by the consignee and possible misdeclaration of the said commodity,” the bureau said.
The shipment was consigned to Golden Aark Enterprises.
Authorities then conducted non-intrusive inspection and 100% physical examination that yielded misdeclaration of goods as 1,205 boxes Astro Branded Cigarettes and 942 boxes of YS filter cigarettes resulting to the apprehension last July 14.
The BOC said two more containers arrived at the same terminal last July 12 declaring 1,940 boxes of the same commodity.
Authorities conducted x-ray inspection and 100% examination that revealed 942 boxes of YS filter cigarettes and 941 Fort Branded Cigarettes which were also apprehended last July 16 at DICT.
The agency noted that the previous apprehension had the offenders trying to outsmart the system by not declaring the shipment’s details in the e-manifest – a system by which BOC determines the cargo’s details and its intended port of destination.
However, intensified intel gathering revealed that the intended destination of these shipments was Davao; to which customs has sole jurisdiction in conducting examination.
“In the midst of the pandemic, Customs Davao shall ensure that its border security protocols, and coordination with partner agencies remain steadfast in securing the borders of Mindanao” Customs Davao District Collector, Atty. Erastus Sandino Austria said.
The bureau said Austria issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) to these illicit articles in violation of Executive Order No.245 “Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exportation and Importation of Leaf Tobacco and Tobacco Products”, Graphic Health Warnings (GHW) Law or R.A. 10643, otherwise known as “An Act to Effectively Instill Health Consciousness through Graphic Health Warning on Tobacco Products.” and section 117 of R.A. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
Last June 3, 2020, the agency said that Sub-port Dadiangas in General Santos City also apprehended 1,325 boxes of smuggled cigarettes from Vietnam valued at more than Php 24 million.
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) announced that it will join the Philippine Trade Facilitation Committee (PTFC), under the Executive Order (EO) No. 136 series of 2021.
In its statement released on Monday (May 24), the BOC said it will take the role of the committee’s vice-chairperson.
The EO that created the PTFC was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on May 18, 2021, in compliance with the World Trade Organization – Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO-TFA).
The statement said that the committee “aims to streamline and improve customs procedures and facilitate the implementation of rational, efficient, and simple customs rules.”
“The committee will study, propose, and coordinate the position, activities, or actions of the Philippine government on the implementation of the WTO-TFA and other trade facilitation commitments,” it added.
The PTFC is also tasked to submit compliance reports and represent and advance the country’s interests in meetings on the implementation of the WTO-TFA and other trade facilitation commitments.
The order further directs the committee to regularly report to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board Committee on Tariff and Related Matters (CTRM) and submit and seek the Board’s approval on proposed trade regulations, measures, and practices that would expedite the movement and clearance of goods.
The BOC said the committee shall also coordinate with the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) to ensure compliance with Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, in relation to trade facilitation. —/mbmf
State security forces have intercepted a watercraft carrying P7.3 million worth of smuggled cigarettes in waters off Barangay Recodo in Zamboanga City, the Philippine Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) said.
The NFWM said elements from its Seaborne Patrol Units, Navy SEALS, intelligence operatives, and members of the Philippine Coast Guard and Bureau of Customs seized the contraband that was loaded on MB Dream Boat on April 28.
The smuggled cigarettes were packed in 205 master cases and were loaded in a boat coming from Sulu.
The cigarettes bore brands like Cannon, Champion, New Far Gold, and New Far Green.
The boat had a crew of 10 who were escorted to Naval Station Romulo Espaldon.
“The crew underwent a medical check-up at Camp Navarro General Hospital and were all declared to be in good condition,” the NFWM said.
The apprehended individuals and the confiscated items were turned over to the custody of BOC Zamboanga District for proper disposition, it added.
Operatives from the Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Zamboanga destroyed some P50 million worth of smuggled cigarettes in a warehouse in Barangay Baliwasan.
The BOC said the smuggled cigarettes destroyed on April 13 were seized in separate operations since December 2020.
The bureau, together with representatives from different partner agencies, destroyed more than 1,278 master cases and 513 reams of cigarettes.
The seized cigarettes were crushed by payloader equipment in an outdoor yard, soaked with used oil to prevent recycling, dispersed with water by firemen, and disposed of in the sanitary landfill in Brgy. Salaan, it added.
The destruction and disposal of cigarettes is reported to be the first condemnation activity of the Port for this year.
The condemnation ceremony was witnessed by the local government unit, heads of partner law enforcement agencies, a representative from the Commission on Audit, Department of Health, and stakeholders, the BOC said.
“The immediate destruction and disposal of such contrabands was a firm directive from Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero to promote transparency and remove doubts of corruption, theft, or pilferage in the agency,” it added.
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