Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals, Press Releases » BOC files criminal raps vs employees, consignees over MCT smuggling schemes

The Bureau of Customs on September 7 filed criminal charges against 12 individuals involved in smuggling schemes at the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT)-Phividec.

The cases against the four consignees, a customs broker, and five customs employees were filed before the Department of Justice after the discovery of “swing operation” and “release now and file entry later” schemes at the Sub-Port of Tagoloan, MCT-Phividec.

The schemes involve the unlawful release of containers from Customs before the filing of entries and before payment of corresponding duties and taxes.

Under “swing operation”, shipments are released from Customs custody through the use of a pre-assessment Single Administrative Document (SAD) printout from the value-added service provider (VASP) with stamp of “Subject for X-ray” or “For Transfer to MICT-CCA [customs clearance area]”, then spirited out from the port.

Under this method, shipments are released without the corresponding filed import entry and without payment of duties and taxes.

Under the “release and file entry later” scheme, shipments are immediately released from Customs custody with the corresponding import entry filed days after the release. This method is adopted to avoid timely detection by alerting offices and proper examination of shipments.

Charged were the owner of General Success Merchandise, Sherbet Sabillo Alazas, and its licensed customs broker, Raul Mercado De Leon, Jr.; the owner of Melea RPL Enterprises, RP Joegen Lisondra; the owner of Mave Trading, Meljane B. Mejos; and the owner of FVV Gracias Enterprises, Francis Victor V. Gracias.

Others indicted were Jose Mari G. Fernandez, terminal manager of MCT, and customs representative Geneva C. Cedeño, alias “Bebang”, who personally facilitated the unlawful release of the containers from customs premises.

Five BOC employees were also charged: Liling Comayog, Officer-in-Charge, Cargo Control Division of the Sub-Port of Tagoloan, whose name and signature were found on the Pre-Assessment SAD of the shipments which aided the unlawful release of the containers; customs police agents Mangigin D. Macawadib, Godofredo T. Cahulogan, and Magalona T. Busok, who were on duty at the time of the unlawful release; and Cao D. Malic, the on-duty customs gatekeeper.

All those charged are in violation of Section 1401 (Unlawful Importation) in relation to Section 1424 (Removing Goods from Customs Custody) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

In addition to the above charges, customs employees are in violation of Section 1431 (Statutory Offenses of Officers and Employees) of the CMTA.

The BOC has previously filed criminal cases against consignees General Success Merchandise and Mave Trading for misdeclaration and unlawful importation of agricultural products.

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