P8.5-million skin-whitening products seized at Naia

Airport Customs authorities on Wednesday impounded some P8.65 million worth of glutathione skin-whitening products previously misdeclared as “personal effects.”

Customs District Collector Vincent Philip Maronilla said the shipment of 48 cartons of the beauty products arrived in separate flights from Bangkok, Thailand, on February 13.  Maronilla said the two shipments, weighing 927 kilograms and 1,120 kilograms, respectively, arrived, and he immediately issued an alert order against the cargo for alleged misdeclaration.He also identified the consignee as James Malinao Halasan of Kamuning, Quezon City, while the Customs broker who facilitated the release of the cargo was identified as Isagani Cortez.

Although no arrests were made, Customs officials have sent a letter summoning Halasan and Cortez to appear before the Customs bureau “to clarify matters.”

Maronilla said another of Halasan’s shipment was placed on hold by airport Customs authorities. The shipment was also declared personal effects, but was later discovered to be beauty products.


Customs Commissioner Isidro S. Lapeña, who went to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) to inspect the shipments, said that the consignee may have violated the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines.


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Recto L. Mercene, graduate BS Journalism, Lyceum of the Philippines. First prize winner, News Photojournalism, by Confederation of Asean Journalists, Bangkok, Thailand; second prize winner, Art and Photojournalism Award; San Miguel Corporation. Former Air Traffic Controller and private pilot. Colombo scholarship grantee: Hurn College of Air Traffic Control, Bournemouth, United Kingdom.