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26 May 2024, 01:13 AM

Customs Bureau Files Charges VS Suspected Smugglers

April 6, 2011

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ) various charges involving violations of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines against the proprietors of two companies found to have brought in assorted products with an estimated value of over P300 million during the last six months alone.

Charged with multiple counts of smuggling were Eduardo Ignacio Saguid, proprietor of Gold Mind Trading, and Nestor Mendoza Ignacio, proprietor of Quick Flow Trading;

Records show that the two companies share a common address: Road 4, NDC Compound, Sta. Mesa, Manila which turns out to be a small dwelling unit in a poor man’s residential area;

Atty. Gregorio Chavez, Customs Deputy Commissioner for Revenue Collection and Monitoring Group and concurrently Executive Director of BOC’s Run After the Smugglers (RATS) Program said that included in the complaints were eight accredited customs brokers. He identified them as : Sheryl J. Garcia; Donald E. Nulod; Roilan M, Altamira; Aleli A, Arellano; Marcelo D. Laylo; Manalo E. Palma; Benjamin C. Suzon; and, Dominador P. Tanay;

The charge sheet also includes several John Does/Jane Does who, Chavez said, “are the syndicate’s financiers”;

Chavez said that from the years 2009 and 2010, Gold Mind Trading and Quick Flow Trading made importations of various products, mostly household appliances, office equipment and even agricultural products that were “declared in over 1,300 import entries;

Chavez revealed that the newly-reorganized RATS group came upon documents that showed Gold Mind and Quick Flow paid only minimal duties and taxes for their numerous shipments;

Chavez said that last July 17, a customs agent who went to check the address being used by both Gold Mind and Quick Flow found out that it was a modest dwelling that displayed two identifying numbers: the first being #2021 for Gold Mind Trading and 2023 for Quick Flo Trading;

He added: Based on the written reports submitted by SA2 Eduardo Quinones as well as the picture taken of the said address, the two companies obviously existed only on paper. The two companies apparently used the fictitious address in order to secure Customs Accreditation;

He said it was obvious that the proprietors of the two companies did not have the financial capability to engage in multi-million importations and were presumably being used as fronts by smuggling syndicates;

Customs Commissioner Lito Alvarez said the filing of this charges should convince smugglers and their cohorts in the Bureau of Customs that their happy days are over. “We will run after them and prosecute them to the .full extent of the law,” he added.

Alvarez declared: “My personal goal is to make smuggling unprofitable.”

Alvarez ordered Chavez to look into the involvement of customs personnel in the operation of smuggling syndicates. He said charges should be filed against BoC employees who approved the accreditation of bogus, non-existent companies and facilitated the release of misdeclared and/or undervalued commodities.

Republic of the Philippines

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