Explore More

Philippine Standard Time:
18 May 2024, 08:49 AM

Customs Seizes Smuggled Rice; Alvarez Warns Importers Misusing His Name

April 3, 2010

Four container vans loaded with premium white rice but misdeclared as fishmeal by its importer have been impounded on orders of Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez.

The illegal shipment worth P3 million was discovered yesterday after undergoing x-ray scanning examination at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagaloan, Misamis Oriental.

Alvarez said he had ordered that all containerized shipments being unloaded in regional ports and provincial sub-ports be subjected to x-ray examination following reports that rice and sugar smugglers have moved their illegal operation out of the Port of Manila and the Manila International Container Port.

The seizure order was issued based on the recommendation of Lawyer Ma. Lourdes Mangaoang, head of BOC’s X-Ray Inspection Project, who personally oversaw the x-ray scanning of the contraband.

The four twenty-footer containers, disclosed Mangaong, came from Vietnam on board the vessel MV Capella of American President Lines. They were consigned to Cagayan do Oro-based Deoden Enterprises.

She added that the shipper, Sin Hua Enterprises, obviously misdeclared the shipment as fish meal to avoid payment of the correct duties and taxes and skirt other regulatory requirements such as an import permit from the National Food Authority.

Imported rice has a duty rate of 50%, much higher than the duty on fish meal.

The spot check conducted by Customs Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) director Jose Yuchongco and Tagoloan Port Collector Lowell L. Medija revealed that the four container vans contained white rice in 50 kilogram sacks totaling one thousand six hundred (1,600).

Alvarez said he sent a team from Manila to belie the misinformation being peddled by some quarters that the smuggling of rice and sugar had the tacit blessing of the customs commissioner.

“Misusing my name,” claimed Alvarez, “could be likened to a death wish because I have issued instructions to all customs collectors to immediately put on alert and subject to 100% inspection all the shipments of importers who would invoke my name in any illegal transaction.”

Republic of the Philippines

All content is in the public domain unless otherwise stated.

Skip to content