A joint operation between the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Department of Agriculture (DA) has resulted in the seizure of P86 million worth of smuggled sugar from Hong Kong.
In a separate joint operation, BOC and DA operatives seized smuggled agri-fishery products worth P120 million at the Subic free port.
The BOC and DA seized the smuggled sugar at the Subic Freeport following the inspection of some 30 containers vans purportedly carrying slipper outsoles and styrene butadiene rubber but suspected to carrying refined sugar.
The BOC conducted a non-intrusive examination and full inspection of the containers, which yielded 15,648 bags/sacks of refined sugar.
Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio said the BOC’s continuous efforts in preventing the entry of illicit goods at the border has been very effective with the help of partner agencies. “With this, I’d like to commend the Port of Subic and remind them to remain steadfast in protecting our borders,” the Customs chief said.
In the second joint operation, the DA-Office of the Assistant Secretary for Inspectorate and Enforcement (DA-IE) requested the issuance of Letter Of Authority from the BOC to conduct a series of raids on seven storage facilities in Navotas City for storing suspected smuggled agri-fishery products.
“The authorities discovered a variety of smuggled frozen agricultural products, including frozen pork, frozen beef and frozen chicken, at a facility in Francisco Street, San Rafael Village, Navotas City,” DA Assistant Secretary James Layug said.
Moreover, the authorities raided two locations at 81 and 72 Bernardo Street, San Rafael Village, Navotas City, where they discovered cold storage facilities containing frozen pompano, pangasius, shrimp, chicken, frozen beef and frozen pork.
Layug said, “DA will ensure that these storage warehouses will be shut down and its owners held accountable for trading smuggled agri-fishery commodities.”
“The seized commodities lack the sanitary and phytosanitary clearance from the appropriate Food Safety Regulatory Agency. Food safety is a major concern [and] selling of these meat and fishery products in the market could endanger public health,” he added.