BOC files criminal cases vs sugar importers, brokers

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BOC files 3 criminal cases vs sugar importers, brokers
Photo from the Bureau of Customs.
  • The Bureau of Customs filed three criminal complaints against two importers and their customs brokers for the alleged smuggling of 71 containers of refined sugar
  • The first criminal complaint involved 14 containers of refined sugar at Manila International Container Port and 58 containers of refined sugar at Subic port
  • The respondents are facing numerous counts of violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, and Sugar Regulatory Administration-BOC Joint Memorandum No. 4-2002
  • From January 1 to March 17, 2023, BOC has filed 45 agri-related criminal complaints against importers and customs brokers involved in alleged smuggling and customs fraud

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has filed three criminal complaints against two importers and their customs brokers for the alleged smuggling of 71 containers of refined sugar.

The first criminal complaint filed recently before the Department of Justice was against an importer and a customs broker for the alleged illegal importation of 13 containers of refined sugar at the Manila International Container Port, BOC said in a statement.

The other two criminal complaints were filed against another importer and their customs broker due to the alleged illegal importation of 58 containers of refined sugar at the Port of Subic.

The respondents are facing numerous counts of violation of Section 1401 (Unlawful Importation or Exportation) in relation to Sections 1400 (Misdeclaration, Misclassification, Undervaluation in Goods Declaration) and 117 (Regulated Importation and Exportation) of Republic Act (RA) No 10683 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA)-BOC Joint Memorandum No. 4-2002, and Sections 3 and 4 of RA 10845, or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.

Under the SRA-BOC joint memo, no imported sugar should be released to the importer/consignee with SRA clearance.

Moreover, any importation of sugar without SRA clearance may be subjected to RA 10845.

From January 1 to March 17, 2023, BOC said it has already filed 45 agri-related criminal complaints against importers and customs brokers involved in alleged smuggling and customs fraud.

“Our continuous filing of criminal complaints against perpetrators of illegal importation manifests our commitment to end smuggling,” Customs commissioner Bienvenido Rubio said.

“We will continue to strengthen our border control measures and file cases against violators of Customs laws to ensure compliance among stakeholders,” he added.

RELATED READ: BOC Subic seizes P86M worth of smuggled sugar