Firms implicated in P20M worth of ukay-ukay, cigarette, agri imports face smuggling raps


The Bureau of Customs, through its Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS), has filed five smuggling cases against the importers and customs brokers of alleged smuggled ukay-ukay (used clothing), cigarettes, and agricultural products worth more than P20 million.

Facing smuggling cases before the Department of Justice are JJTS International Trading; Gandar International Import and Export Trading; Proline Logistics Phils., Inc.; ZJDP Trading; and Paragon Platinum International Trading Corp.

The firms have been charged with violating Section 1400 (Misdeclaration, Misclassification, Undervaluation in Goods Declaration), Section 1401 (Unlawful Importation or Exportation), and Section 117 (Regulated Importation and Exportation) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The defendants have also been accused of violating Republic Act (R.A.) 4653 (An Act to Safeguard the Health of the People and Maintain the Dignity of the Nation By Declaring It a National Policy to Prohibit the Commercial Importation of Textile Articles Commonly Known as Used Clothing and Rags), and Article 171 (Falsification by public officer, employee or notary or ecclesiastic minister) and 172 (Falsification by private individual and use of falsified documents) of the Revised Penal Code.

BOC, in a statement, said the first case was filed against Emelita P. Peralta and licensed customs broker Toni Rose Amoyen of JJTS International Trading for importing five shipments of misdeclared fabrics, tissue, and onions on September 26, 2017, via the Manila International Container Port (MICP). The goods, which came from Quanzhou, China, were valued at P8.615 million, with aggregate duties and taxes amounting to more than P4 million.

Also indicted were Theng Mino Gandar, owner of Gandar International, and Amoyen, who is also impleaded in the first case, for supposedly facilitating the importation of misdeclared used clothing, rice, shoes, and suspension arms from China. The goods that arrived at MICP on September 20, 2017 had an estimated market value of more than P6 million and aggregate duties and taxes of more than P3 million.

The third case was filed against Proline Logistics on February 27, 2018 for the reportedly illegal importation from Hong Kong of used clothing having an estimated market value of more than P2 million. Charged were Wilma A. Bautista, president and general manager; Catherine A. Garcia, vice president; Hubert R. Bautista, secretary and major stockholder; Julius Cesar F. Pelino Jr., import staff and major stockholder; Rocky S. Dorado, major stockholder; and Salvador I. Labiano Jr., licensed customs broker.

The fourth case is against ZJDP Trading’s owner, Zara Jane Dizon Panganiban, for importing three containers of onions and potatoes from China without the required phytosanitary permit from the Department of Agriculture. The agricultural products, which arrived on August 22, 2017, were valued at P3.95 million with duties and taxes amounting to more than P1 million.

Another smuggling case was filed against Paragon Platinum for the alleged illegal importation of cigarettes on February 21, 2018. The instant criminal complaint was filed against Erin Jorge T. Sumile, proprietor of Paragon Platinum and its broker, Bernadine I. Miranda. Paragon Platinum is also facing another case filed by BOC last April for being one of the consignees involved in the illegal release of 105 alerted containers at the Port of Manila.

“For three consecutive weeks, the Bureau of Customs has filed smuggling cases before the Department of Justice. For 2018, BOC has filed 30 cases against erring importers and brokers. This is to show our unrelenting drive to run after the smugglers who are trying to cheat the government,” Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said.

According to BATAS, the aggregate value of the smuggled goods that are the subject of the 30 cases filed by BOC for 2018 is P420 million, with approximate duties and taxes amounting to P147 million.