BOC seizes Php260M-worth of cigarettes and rice, crew subjected to inquest proceedings

The Bureau of Customs Port of Limay and the composite team from Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), intercepted smuggled cigarettes in master cases bearing the “Mighty” and “Two Moon” cigarette brands and Premium Vietnam Rice loaded onto LCT Yellow River last February 24, 2021 in Orion, Bataan.

Based on reports, said importation was unloaded from a mother ship originating from Vietnam and loaded onto LCT Yellow River.  The importation, appearing to be consigned to Asia Pacific Rice Trading Corporation, was accompanied with fake Statement of Settlement of Duties and Taxes (SSDT) for the rice, and lack of tax seal for the cigarettes. Further, the LCT Yellow River partially unloaded onto several trailer trucks, which were seized in various checkpoints, and in the premises of Orion Dockyard, Orion, Bataan.

The crew of LCT Yellow River and the various trucks with more or less fifty individuals are now subjected to inquest proceedings on charges in violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and other laws. Follow-up operations and investigations are ongoing on the supposed delivery addresses of the seized items.

As the overall trade environment gradually recovers from the COVID-19, the Bureau of Customs remains comitted in its campaign against smuggling.