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Authorities inspect seized illegally imported cigarettes | Photo courtesy of BOC Davao

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Davao seized four 40-foot containers of illegally imported cigarettes valued at P107.415 million and consigned to Golden Aark Enterprises.

Two of the four 40-footers arrived in Davao International Container Terminal (DICT) last July 10 and were said to contain 2,180 boxes of brand-new tissue papers, BOC said in a statement.

BOC Davao received derogatory information from the Intelligence Group and Enforcement Group that led to the issuance of a pre-lodgment control order against the shipment, after discovering that the consignee lodged no goods declaration and that there was possible misdeclaration.

Authorities then conducted non-intrusive inspection and 100% physical examination that resulted in the discovery of the misdeclared boxes of cigarettes, which were seized on July 14.

The two other containers arrived at DICT on July 12 and were declared to contain 1,940 boxes of brand-new tissue papers. Authorities then conducted x-ray inspection and 100% examination that revealed 942 boxes of YS filter cigarettes and 941 Fort brand cigarettes, seized on July 16.

BOC said the offenders tried “to outsmart the system by not declaring the shipment’s details in the e-manifest – a system by which BOC determines the cargo’s details and its intended port of destination.”

The customs bureau noted that intensified intel gathering revealed that the intended destination of the shipments were Davao.

“In the midst of the pandemic, Customs Davao shall ensure that its border security protocols, and coordination with partner agencies remain steadfast in securing the borders of Mindanao,” BOC Davao district collector Atty. Erastus Sandino Austria said.

A warrant of seizure and detention has been issued against the shipments for violation of Executive Order No.245 (Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exportation and Importation of Leaf Tobacco and Tobacco Products), Republic Act (RA) 10643 or An Act to Effectively Instill Health Consciousness through Graphic Health Warning on Tobacco Products, and Section 117 of R.A. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

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