Home » Customs & Trade » P65M worth of smuggled goods from China seized

THE Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) recently apprehended 56 containers of assorted smuggled agricultural products from China and Hong Kong, estimated to have a total market value of P65.14 million.

Twenty-five containers generally declared as food ingredients and flour and consigned to Kaye International Trading were found to contain 23,000 bags of unfortified flour from Hong Kong and China.

Aside from violating the Mandatory Food Fortification section (Section 6 and 10) of RA 8976 or the Philippine Food Fortification Act of 2000, Kaye International Trading is no longer a registered importer of the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD).

“The CIIS has obtained certification from BFAD that Kaye International Trading had closed its operations on December 19, 2000. They have no business importing flour or any foodstuff. If sold in the market, this shipment can fetch over P18 million and consumers will be cheated because this is unfortified flour,” Customs commissioner Napoleon Morales said in press briefing Friday.

The flour shipment will be auctioned off to BFAD-accredited flour processors who will have to fortify the flour with Vitamin A and iron before it can be sold to the public.

Meanwhile, three containers of apples and another three containers of garlic from China were consigned to Rubills International Inc. Both shipments, estimated to be worth P14.7 million, had no import permits from the Bureau of Plant Industry.

Another shipment of four containers of onion worth P10.24 million imported from Hong Kong and consigned to Futek Enterprises was misdeclared as garlic. It had no import permit for either garlic or onion.

Also part of the hoard of smuggled goods were 19 containers of Chinese lumber and Chinese cedar consigned to Wukong Singapore Pte Ltd who denied ownership of the P19-million shipment.

“A modus operandi of smuggling operators is to use the names of legitimate importers in the manifest, usually PEZA locators to bring in their shipments to avoid payment of duties and taxes. That’s why we put this shipment under alert and confirmed the ownership with the consignee,” said Morales.

Included in the inspection were two containers of frozen mackerel worth P2.8 million consigned to Sea Quest International Freight Forwarding and Shamrock Commercial and Integrated Multi Gold Enterprises.

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