The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) against a lorry truck and its load of 21,000 liters of unmarked and smuggled blended diesel fuel found in Tondo, Manila last month.
The WSD was issued on August 4, 2023 after the lorry truck found with a container of blended diesel fuel owned by V-Fuel Gasoline Station failed the fuel marking test (both field and confirmatory test).
Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group Juvymax Uy, who issued the Mission Order (MO) last July 8, 2023 to Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP) chief Alvin Enciso, gave details of the case to be filed against V-Fuel Gasoline Station.
“Our order was to conduct validation on information received about the presence of fuel smuggling activities, conduct intelligence and enforcement operations against fuel smuggling in the areas of Manila, Navotas, and Malabon,” he said.
“It came to our attention a lorry truck was in Vitas, Tondo, Manila, so we had it checked. Our agents inspected it and found the unmarked fuel. They brought it to the Port of Manila for safekeeping,” Uy added.
Tests conducted on the first three compartments with 16,000 liters of unmarked fuel on July 10 and 12, as well as the fourth compartment with 5,000 liters on July 19, all showed failed results.
According to CIIS Director Verne Enciso, this means that the owner of the fuel found in the lorry truck did not pay taxes and duties, which is in violation of Republic Act 10963 and Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 43-2019, or the “Implementing the Fuel Marking Program.”
“The Field Inspection Team would have to impound the non-compliant fuel following proper procedures, of course,” he said, underscoring the need for “procedures to be followed, so violators of our laws and rules will face the consequences of their illegal activities.”
Uy and Enciso, who both just received commendations for their valuable contribution to the seizure of billions worth of smuggled goods from January to August 2023, warned against fuel smuggling.
“Our economy—the global economy, in fact—depends on the proper regulation of fuel. Smuggling of unmarked fuel into the country jeopardizes the health of the economy,” Uy said.
“Substandard fuel maximizes the profits only of those who sell it. Consumers are forced to carry the risks unwillingly and without them knowing. We are working double time to stop these activities and ensure our people are protected from those who make a mockery of our laws,” Enciso added.