The Bureau of Customs has reported on Friday, 16 December, that it has seized a total of twenty (20) twenty-footer (20×20) containers for transshipment that arrived at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) on several occasions in the month of November. The shipments are estimated to have a total value of forty million pesos (P40,000,000).
The shipments were alerted based on questionable information as gathered by Customs intelligence operatives. Upon verification, it was discovered that no import entry/transshipment permit were filed for the release of said shipments within the reglementary period of thirty (30) days upon arrival. It was also found out that spurious documents were used to release the containers.
The seizure includes twelve twenty-footer (12×20) containers declared to contain “glutinous supplies” but found to contain glutinous rice. These containers originated from Hongkong and were consigned to several masters of marine vessels. Under the process of transshipment, the cargo from the first vessel are to be unloaded and transferred to another vessel and transported to another country.
Consignees of the cargo included “Master of MV Aby Jeannette Co” and “Master of USBS 11 Lt Baldomero.”
Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon has ordered an immediate and thorough investigation to identify personalities involved in this illegal transshipment. “This is an anomalous act that constitutes economic sabotage. The suspects will definitely have to face us in court,” he said.
The Commissioner added, “We will do everything we can under the law so that all parties responsible for all the apprehensions we have undertaken against rice and agricultural smuggling will be taken to court and be held accountable.”
Charges on violation of Section 1400 (Misdeclaration, Misclassification, or Undervaluation in Goods Declaration) in relation to Section 1113 (Property Subject to Seizure and Forfeiture) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) will be filed against those behind this illegal shipment.
According to Atty. Teddy Raval, Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group, abandonment proceedings has been recommended against the twenty shipments pursuant to Section 1129 (Kinds, Effects of Abandonment) of the CMTA.
The other shipments seized were declared as to contain furniture, marine lubricants and base oil. ###