THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Limay seized on Wednesday P260-million worth of smuggled cigarettes and rice in Orion, Bataan.
In a statement, the BOC said they intercepted smuggled cigarettes in master cases bearing the “Mighty” and “Two Moon” cigarette brands and “Premium Vietnam Rice” that were loaded on Landing Craft Transport (LCT) Yellow River.
The statement said the importation, which was unloaded from a mother ship originating from Vietnam and then loaded on LCT Yellow River, was accompanied with fake “Statement of Settlement of Duties and Taxes” for the rice and lack of tax seals for the cigarettes.
The shipment was also consigned to Asia Pacific Rice Trading Corp., the statement said.
Moreover, the LCT Yellow River partially unloaded the smuggled items onto several trailer trucks, which were seized in various checkpoints, and within the premises of the Orion Dockyard, Orion, Bataan.
The crew of LCT Yellow River and the various trucks with more or less fifty individuals are now subjected to inquest proceedings on charges in violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and other laws, according to the BOC.
Follow-up operations and investigations are ongoing on the supposed delivery addresses of the seized items.
Together with BOC Port of Limay in conducting the seizure was the composite team from Enforcement and Security Service, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, Philippine National Police and Philippine Coast Guard.
Last year, the BOC seized P10.629-billion worth of smuggled goods, with cigarettes accounting for more than half of its total haul.
In terms of the estimated value of smuggled goods that the BOC seized from January to December last year, cigarettes comprised 54 percent or P5.77 billion, followed by illegal drugs (P1.855 billion) and counterfeit goods (P1.056 billion).