THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Monday seized 76 containers of refined sugar worth P228 million from Thailand after the consignee failed to present an import clearance from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).
Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz led BOC agents in inspecting the containers after the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP) sought the issuance of an Alert Order on October 4.
Based on intelligence reports, the BOC said the shipment, which arrived at the MICP on September 24, contained “misdeclared and undeclared” items.
As a result, the BOC issued two Warrants of Seizure and Detention against the shipment for violating Sections 117 and 1113 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
Ruiz said the BOC is determined to prevent trade activities that would jeopardize market prices and local production and hurt Filipino workers and consumers.
“I’m proud of what our team has done in this case. They didn’t let this attempt to change consignees go through and were fast on their feet in making sure we stop another shipment from entering our local markets,” he said in a statement.
CIIS Director and concurrent Intelligence Group OIC Deputy Commissioner Jeoffrey Tacio said there was initial information about the shipment’s status as containing “misdeclared” and undeclared goods.
CIIS-MICP Chief Alvin Enciso reported an attempt by the consignee to change its name on October 10 after a request for the issuance of an alert order was received at the District Collector’s Office on October 4.
Ruiz lauded the BOC’s latest operation, particularly the blocking of the attempt to circumvent the law and change the consignment.
The operation is in keeping with the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to BOC to stop all forms of smuggling and other customs fraud in the country.
Image credits: Roy Domingo