Smuggled cigarettes worth P107 million seized at Port of Davao
Robie de Guzman • July 22, 2020 • 147
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.
Shipments containing Kush and various marijuana infused products worth more than P1.6 million were recently seized at the Port of Clark in Pampanga, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Friday.
In a statement, the BOC said its operatives intercepted the shipments after conducting strict profiling of consignees, importation documents and non-intrusive examination of eight shipments from the United States of America, Canada, France and Germany.
The bureau said that out of the eight shipments, two were suspected to contain kush marijuana leaves which were declared as “2 gift shirts and 2 baby blankets.”
The BOC said this prompted the opening of the package which revealed two gift shirts used to cover eight vacuum sealed packs of dried leaves and toppings while the two baby blankets covered three vacuum sealed packs of dried leaves suspected to be marijuana.
The other six shipments contained various marijuana infused products such as two small boxes of CBD creams, 4 pieces of inhalers made with hemp cannabidoil, a CBD Vape Pen, two packs of CBD infused gummies, six packs of Juicy Jay Hemp Wraps, three bottles of Bergland Tee Baum, three bottles of Japanissches Minz-Heilol, 15 pieces of disposable CBD cartridges and 23 boxes of E-liquid pods.
“The shipments were likewise subjected to K9 sniffing which indicated the presence of illegal drugs. Thereafter, PDEA chemical analysis was conducted and showed positive result for the presence of marijuana, affirming the suspicion of the Customs Examiners,” the BOC said.
Warrants of Seizure and Detention (WSD) were issued by District Collector Ruby Alameda against the subject shipments for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act in relation to the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The BOC said the seized items have been turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Region 3 last August 5.
In coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the BOC raided the warehouse and discovered 1,000 master cases of illicit cigarettes and 648 boxes of fake N95 masks which copied designs and logos of famous luxury fashion brands.
The seized items has been transported to the ESS Security Coral located in the Port of Manila for further inventory and investigation.
“The latest apprehension affirms the Bureau’s steadfast committment in preventing the entry of smuggled items into the country as well as protecting the public from the dangers of using fake items such as protective equipment especially during this time of pandemic,” the BOC said. AAC
MANILA, Philippines – The remaining shipment containing 6,000 metric tons of household hazardous waste was finally sent back to South Korea from the Port of Cagayan de Oro, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Wednesday.
In a statement, the BOC said the shipment, comprised of 80 containers and loaded on MV Mahia, was re-exported to its origin in Pyeongtaek City on August 4.
There-exportation of the wastes resumed on Tuesday after being halted for some time due to the restrictions imposed amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, it added.
The re-exportation of 251 containers of wastes from South Korea was initiated by the BOC in January but got delayed due to the pandemic, and the failure of the consignee to secure prior import permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The bureau said that waste shipments arrived in the country in 2018 at the Port of Cagayan on two separate occasions. It was consigned to Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corporation.
The shipments were both declared plastic synthetic flakes but an inspection conducted by the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau revealed that these contained household hazardous wastes.
The bureau ordered the immediate return of the shipments pursuant to Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act, and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their disposal.
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