P150M worth of smuggled agri goods seized in 24 warehouses

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P150M worth of agri goods seized in 24 warehouses
Photo from the BOC.
  • An inspection of 24 warehouses in Metro Manila yielded smuggled agri goods worth about P150 million
  • Discovered in the facilities were fresh onions and garlic
  • The warehouses were mostly located in Tondo, Manila

About P150 million worth of smuggled agricultural products was discovered following an inspection of 24 warehouses in Metro Manila on February 17, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said in a statement.

The warehouses–majority of which were located in Tondo, Manila and one each in Malabon City and Binondo—contained fresh onions, fresh garlic, and other products.

Agents of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP), the Philippine National Police-Crime Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) implemented the Letters of Authority (LOAs) on the warehouses and storage areas.

The BOC immediately acted on the derogatory information on the smuggled agri goods and coordinated with the respective barangay officials and the PNP before the operation.

Warehouse representatives acknowledged the LOAs and allowed the team to inspect the facilities. After finding the alleged smuggled products, the team temporarily padlocked the warehouses and storage areas.

The inventory of goods will be conducted by the assigned Customs examiner and witnessed by CIIS and Enforcement and Security Service agents.

The corresponding seizure and forfeiture proceedings will be conducted against the subject shipments for violation of Sec. 1400 (misdeclaration in goods declaration) in relation to Sec. 1113 (property subject to seizure and forfeiture) of Republic Act No. 10863 known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and Republic Act 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.

The case records will also be forwarded to the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) for the filing of appropriate charges and criminal cases against those responsible for the illegal importation.

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