P120-M poultry, seafood items busted by BOC in Navotas
A series of raids of seven warehouses or cold storage facilities by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday, March 17, 2023, yielded an estimated P120 million worth of suspected smuggled poultry and seafood products.
An operative team composed of the BOC, Customs Intelligence, and Investigation Service at the Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP), Department of Agriculture-Inspectorate and Enforcement Office (DA-IE), National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) went to the warehouses in Navotas City to implement the Letters of Authority (LOAs) signed by Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio.
CIIS-MICP chief Alvin Enciso led the BOC team in serving the LOAs followed by the warehouse inspection.
Rubio lauded the team’s work on the swift action taken.
“This is outstanding work by our law enforcement officers and our bureau personnel. I understand how much effort and commitment it takes to inspect all of these warehouses in just one day. It also goes to show how important proper coordination is among government agencies because these operations won’t be possible without it,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group Juvymax Uy also underscored how border protection stopped the economic impact of smuggled products entering into Philippine markets.
“Our officers have once more shown their diligence to target, detect, and intercept potential threats to our people’s economic activities. This is just one of the ways how the bureau protects the public—by keeping these products away from consumers and thus safeguarding the livelihoods of those who go through the proper legal process of bringing in imported goods,” he added.
Upon inspection of the warehouses, the team found various poultry products, such as frozen pork legs, chicken drumsticks, pork spareribs, squid rings, crayfish, pork ears, pork hinges, abalone, brawley beef, pork aorta, chicken feet, pork riblets, golden pampano, pangasius fillet, boneless pork ham, fish tofu, and pork ears.
While most of the frozen seafood were from China, there were also beef from Brazil and Australia, pork from the United States, and pork ears from Russia.
They also found an empty warehouse that was purposely made to become a cold storage facility.
The team, who was accompanied by DA Assistant Secretary James Layug, Navotas City Lone District Representative Toby Tiangco, and personnel from Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO), presented copies of the LOA to the warehouse representatives.
After the representatives acknowledged the LOA, the team inspected the warehouses where they found the alleged smuggled goods.
They then proceeded to temporarily padlock and seal the warehouses, including the empty storage facility, the keys of which were turned over to the barangay officials present during the inspection.
The inventory of the goods will be conducted by the assigned Customs examiner and would be witnessed by agents from the CIIS and Enforcement and Security Service (ESS).
The owners of the goods would be asked to present importation documents or proof of payment by the Customs authorities.
If found without proper documents, the 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).#