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A total of 16 containers, which arrived on August 8 from China, were declared to contain fish balls with total declared duties of P2.543 million. But upon inspection, the shipments were found to contain carrots, onions, broccoli, and potatoes. Photo from the Bureau of Customs.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has seized 16 containers of misdeclared agricultural products estimated to be worth P53 million at the Port of Manila.

BOC Port of Manila district collector Arsenia C. Ilagan said the containers, which arrived on August 8 from China, were declared to contain fish balls with total declared duties of P2.543 million. But upon inspection, the shipments were found to contain P20.080 million worth of carrots, P20.080 million worth of onions, P10.040 million worth of broccoli, and P2.510 million worth of potatoes.

The shipments were issued an alert order after the import entry was lodged. A 100% physical inspection led to the discovery of the smuggled agricultural products.

The shipments were consigned to Shinerise Trading Service and processed by customs broker Johnna Philipian Cristobal Aceveda.

The goods were issued a warrant of seizure and detention on September 4 for violation of Section 1400 (Misdeclaration, Misclassification and Undervaluation in Goods Declaration), in relation to Section 1113 (Property Subject to Seizure and Forfeiture), of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The consignee will also face charges for violation of Section 3 of the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act since the shipments amounted to more than P1 million, an amount considered as large-scale smuggling.

Ilagan said she has already ordered the consignee’s accreditation cancelled, while the customs broker is now under investigation.

Last August 19, BOC also seized P665,000 worth of smuggled rice at the Port of Zamboanga, and on August 8 apprehended P24 million worth of misdeclared shipments of carrots, onions and potatoes at the Manila International Container Port.

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