Cigarette, Car Traders Face Smuggling Charges

Two (2) criminal complaints were filed last week before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against importers and customs brokers over P89 million worth of misdeclared vehicles, cigarettes, used clothing, and other goods.

First is against SHEMALA INTERNATIONAL COMM’L EQUIPMENT WHOLESALING and their customs broker due to alleged misdeclaration and unlawful importation of assorted cigarettes amounting to P69,744,668.31 on August 2, 2021 at the Port of Subic.

The said importer and customs broker purportedly violated Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), in relation to Customs Memorandum Order No. 20-2006; Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion Law; National Tobacco Administration (NTA) Board Resolution 079-2005; National Tobacco Memorandum Circular No. 03, s. 2004;  Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines; and the Revised Penal Code, as amended (RPC).

Second is against JLFDM CONSUMER GOODS TRADING for alleged unlawful importation of 1 unit used Ferrari Scuderia, 3 units of used Mercedes Benz (SLK55, SLK350 & E22), 1 unit used Porsche Boxster, 2 units used Toyota MRS, 79 bales of used clothing, and other goods with a total value of P19,520,589.22, on May 23, 2021 at the Manila International Airport.

The respondents are facing two (2) counts of the alleged violation of the CMTA, in relation to E.O. No. 877-A, s.2010, otherwise known as “The Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Development Program”; and Republic Act No. 4653, otherwise known as “An Act to Safeguard the Health of the People and Maintain the Dignity of the Nation by Declaring it a National Policy to Prohibit the Commercial Importation of Textile Articles commonly known as Used Clothing and Rags.”

From January to September 9, 2021, the Bureau of Customs initiated 69 criminal complaints before the DOJ against 220 individuals and customs brokers allegedly involved in irregular and unlawful activities. In addition, administrative cases against 48 licensed customs brokers were filed before the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).