Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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BOC confiscates P32.7M misdeclared cigarettes

Seized boxes of cigarettes | Photo from BOC

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has seized a container of misdeclared cigarettes worth P32.7 million at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

The shipment was intercepted by BOC’s Enforcement and Security Service personnel due to allegations it had not undergone proper examination, BOC said in a statement. The container was inspected on July 2 and initial investigation showed that instead of the declared “SH brand non-woven bags” it had 1,092 master cases of D&B brand cigarettes.

BOC said three alleged officials of a customs broker group attempted to negotiate release of the container after questioning BOC’s authority to inspect it. BOC said its Inspection Unit explained the probe is covered by a memorandum signed by the Customs commissioner last April 27, 2020 regarding inspection of imported shipments during a state of public health emergency and/or enhanced community quarantine.

BOC-MICP’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) will issue a subpoena against responsible officers of the consignee, its nominated customs brokers, and other persons involved, to provide necessary information relative to the shipment.

CIIS will also strictly monitor other shipments of the consignee, including those transacted by its nominated customs brokers.

BOC noted that under Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, “any person who shall fraudulently import or assist in so doing, contrary to law, or shall receive, conceal, buy, sell, or in any manner facilitate the concealment of such goods and the act of misdeclaration as to quality and description of the goods are both punishable by law.”

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