Smuggled gadgets, 15 undocumented Chinese nationals uncovered in Manila raid

Marje Pelayo   •   August 7, 2019   •   578

MANILA, Philippines – Operatives of the Bureau of Customs – Intelligence Group (BOC-IG) raided an electronics store in Binondo, Manila selling allegedly smuggled high-value gadgets.

Among the devices intercepted were Apple iPhones, iPads, Mi Brand and Samsung devices.

The owner of the establishment has until August 14 to present evidence of proper payment of duties and taxes of electronics.

Section 224 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) states that ”in the event that the interested party fails to produce such evidence within fifteen (15) days, the goods may be seized and subjected to forfeiture proceedings.”

Also during the raid, 15 undocumented Chinese nationals were identified and were immediately turned-over to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for documentation and processing.

According to the BI, nine of the said Chinese nationals entered the country as tourists who were working without the necessary permits.

Three of them, meanwhile, have no record of travel or of unknown status; two are holders of 9G (pre-arranged employment) visa and one has special working permit.

Deportation proceedings for the 15 Chinese nationals are underway.

The operation launched on July 31, 2019, was led by agents from the BOC Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) in collaboration with members of the Intellectual Property Rights Division (IPRD), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Joint Task Force (JTF) – National Capital Region (NCR) and personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

P4.2M worth of smuggled cigarettes seized in Zamboanga

Marje Pelayo   •   November 8, 2019

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday (November 5) seized P4.2 million worth of smuggled cigarettes at Urban Poor Drive, Tugbungan, Zamboanga City.

The items consisting of 143 master cases and 40 reams of Bravo Red Cigarettes from Malaysia, were discovered aboard a panel truck with temporary plate No. 090104.

The smuggled cigarettes and the truck were immediately turned over to the BOC for inventory and proper disposition.

Meanwhile, the suspects involved were turned over to Zamboanga Police Office Station 06 for investigation and for filing of possible charges.

District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr. said in a statement that the agency’s intensified anti-smuggling operations under the marching orders of BOC Commissioner Rey Guerrero mainly contributed to the apprehension.

Barte said seizure of fake and smuggled products will protect the public from possible health risks these items pose.

BOC reiterates: Meat, pork imports need clearance before release

Robie de Guzman   •   November 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday reiterated that food imports such as meat and pork products must first be inspected and cleared before its release.

The BOC made the statement amid government efforts to prevent entry of food products that may contain diseases, particularly the African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country.

The bureau said that RepublicAct 10611 or the Food Safety Act of 2013 stipulates that “imported foods shall undergo cargo inspection and clearance procedures by the DA (Department of Agriculture) and the DOH (Department of Health) at the first port of entry to determine compliance with national regulations.”

The BOC added that this inspection will always be conducted prior to assessment for tariff and other charges.

To further ensure the safety of the public, the BOC said that boarding formalities on arriving vessels at any port entry are strictly conducted by the bureau and the Quarantine Officers of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

According to BOC Spokesperson and Assistant Commissioner Atty. Vincent Philip Maronilla, all imported agricultural goods contained in reefer containers undergo initial examination by the DA.

These will then be inspected by the BAI, BPI and BFAR at their accredited warehouses.

“In case of meat products, reefer container is sealed by BAI prior to the release of said imports from the BOC. The sealed reefer container will be further examined 100% by the National Meat Inspection Service in its accredited storage warehouse,” the statement read.

BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero emphasized that the bureau is prompt in acting against derogatory reports of shipments that may contain smuggled goods and other contraband and is serious in enforcing the law and the proper procedures against imported pork and meat products from ASF-hit countries.

Mayor Isko rewards honest pedicab driver

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 31, 2019

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Wednesday (October 30) rewarded an honest pedicab driver for returning P1.2 million to a Chinese national.

Benjie Ordanza, 42 years old, was presented when the Manila Mayor addressed the nation’s capital on Wednesday.

According to Moreno, Ordanza approached Manila 2nd District Councilor Awi Sia to return a bag containing P1.2 million cash, a watch, and the passport of the owner Zhang Lei.

Moreno expressed his gratitude for Ordanza’s honesty.

“This type of fellow is very rare,” he said. “He could have done anything other than this. It’s literally very rare nowadays. Especially sa hirap ng buhay ng tao, madaling mag-asam ng hindi sa iyo lalo’t kung walang nakakakita (Especially with how difficult life is nowadays, it is easy to take something that isn’t yours especially when no one is looking).”

Ordanza received ₱100,000 from Moreno and Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna.—AAC

 

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