Port of Cagayan de Oro Continues Anti-Agri Smuggling Ops, Busts Another 6 Containers Worth P18-Million

Bureau of Customs Port of Cagayan de Oro has continued its anti-smuggling operations and busted another six (6) containers of smuggled agricultural products on July 28, 2022 at Mindanao Container Terminal Port, PHIVIDEC Compound, Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

Upon receiving derogatory information on the contents of the shipments, District Collector Atty. Elvira Cruz immediately issued Pre-Lodgment Control Orders (PLCOs) subjecting the six (6) containers to a 100% physical examination.

The examination conducted by the assigned Customs Examiners and witnessed by Atty. Elvira Cruz, District Collector; Atty. Marrieta Zamoranos, MCT Sub-port Collector; Oliver Valiente, Chief, CIIS-CDO; SP/Lt. Arkhan Macaombang, Deputy District Commander, ESS-CDO; Manuel Barradas, Bureau of Plant Industry; Agent Michael Balbastro, PDEA 10; Ronie Gutang, MICTSI and Raymundo Maquiling Jr., CCBI, revealed that shipments contained red and white onions estimated to have a value of P 18,000,000.00.

The shipments arrived on July 23, 2022 from China consigned to Primex Export and Import Producer and were declared as “Soft Tortilla Wrap”.

Last July 22, 2022, three (3) containers consigned to Frankie Trading Enterprises declared as “Yung Butter/Dairy Spreads” were also seized which also contained onions labeled as “pears”.

District Collector Atty. Elvira Cruz reiterated her warning against unscrupulous importers that agricultural smuggling greatly affects locally produced agricultural products since it cannot compete with illegally imported agricultural products.

Amid clamors of donating these products, Manuel Barradas, the Supervising Agriculturist of the Bureau of Plant Industry clarified that the only option is to destroy the products or return it to its origin which is costly.

“We don’t know what pest and disease these might bring that would infect our other crops here in Mindanao. This would also pose human risk because we don’t know what preservatives or chemical they used, this is a hazard to our consumers,” said Barradas.

A Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) will be issued against the shipments for violation of Section 1400 of RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.