The Bureau of Customs seized P545 million worth of smuggled agricultural products in the first nine months of 2021
The top three smuggled agricultural products for the period were rice, P206.80 million; onions, P190.48 million; and garlic, P55 million
BOC has filed 14 criminal cases against 41 individuals and customs brokers for unlawful importation of agri products valued at P85.2 million
BOC revoked the accreditation of two importers and suspended that of 23 others with the issuance of a warrant of seizure and detention against their shipments of agri products
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Intelligence Group has seized P545 million worth of smuggled agricultural products in the first nine months of 2021, and revoked or suspended the accreditation of the alleged agricultural smugglers, who also face cases filed against them.
Of the total seizure, the top three smuggled agricultural products fromJanuary to September 2021 in terms of value were rice, P206.80 million; onions, P190.48 million; and garlic, P55 million, BOC said in a statement.
The Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers also filed before the Department of Justice 14 criminal cases against 41 individuals and customs brokers for the unlawful importation of agricultural products valued at around P85.2 million. In addition, 10 administrative cases were filed before the Professional Regulation Commission against the customs brokers allegedly involved in these unlawful acts.
Moreover, the accreditation of two importers was revoked while that of 23 importers was suspended due to the issuance of a warrant of seizure and detention against their shipments of agricultural products.
BOC earlier said it “strongly denounces the fraudulent importation of agricultural products, and consistently implements efforts to intensify its border protection measures to assure the safety of the consumers.”
BOC and the Department of Agriculture (DA) recently forged an agreement to implement a new set of measures aimed at curtailing the entry of smuggled agricultural commodities.
On October 8, BOC and DA agreed to strengthen “second border” inspections and create a technical working group to review the 15-year-old guidelines and procedures on handling imported food items.