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20 June 2024, 06:25 AM

BOC seizes P150-M worth of agricultural products in 24 warehouses in Metro Manila

February 19, 2023

A series of inspection of 24 warehouses in Metro Manila on Friday, February 17, 2023, yielded more or less P150 million worth of agricultural products as the Bureau of Customs (BOC), under Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, intensified its efforts to curb agricultural smuggling.

Agents of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP), the Philippine National Police-Crime Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) implemented the Letters of Authority (LOAs) on 24 warehouses and storage areas believed to be in possession of P150 million worth of smuggled agricultural products, such as fresh onions and fresh garlic.

“We will be relentless in the fight against agricultural smuggling. Rest assured that the BOC is steadfast in patrolling our borders and protecting our local farmers against illicit traders of agricultural products,” Commissioner Rubio said.

Intelligence Group Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy said the successful operations wouldn’t be possible without the leadership of Rubio.

“The good commissioner is very determined and is, in fact, pushing the bureau harder to fulfill our thrust of border protection. His understanding of the importance of acting swiftly on the information we receive on a daily basis led us to the discovery of hundreds of millions worth of smuggled agricultural products in just one day,” he added.

The warehouses, majority of which were located in Tondo, Manila, while one each in Malabon City and Binondo, were found with fresh onions, fresh garlic, and other products.

The bureau immediately acted on the derogatory information and coordinated with the respective barangay officials and the PNP before the operation.

Warehouse representatives acknowledged the LOAs and allowed the team to inspect the warehouses.

After finding the alleged smuggled products, the team proceeded to temporarily padlock and seal the warehouses and storage areas.

The inventory of the goods in their respective location is scheduled to be conducted by the assigned Customs examiner and would be witnessed by CIIS and Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) agents.

Corresponding seizure and forfeiture proceedings will be conducted against the subject shipments for violation of Sec. 1400 (misdeclaration in goods declaration) in relation to Sec. 1113 (property subject to seizure and forfeiture) of Republic Act No. 10863 known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and Republic Act 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.

The case records will also be forwarded to the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) for the filing of appropriate charges and criminal cases against those responsible for the illegal importation of the said agricultural products.#

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