Tuesday, October 19, 2021
HomeCustoms & TradeTraders face smuggling raps over P4.2M cigarette, fishery imports

Traders face smuggling raps over P4.2M cigarette, fishery imports

  • The Bureau of Customs filed criminal cases against two traders for allegedly smuggling into the country cigarettes and agricultural products totaling P4.177 million
  • A case was filed against the registered owner of Bianmintina Store and the Storage in Pasay City for alleged unlawful importation and sale of cigarettes amounting to P1.571 million
  • Another case was filed against Hightower Inc. and its customs broker for the alleged misdeclaration and unlawful importation of prohibited agricultural fish products valued at P2.607 million
  • BOC has to date filed 26 criminal cases against erring importers and customs brokers

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has filed criminal cases against two traders over the alleged unlawful importation of cigarettes and agricultural products worth a total P4.177 million.

The Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) on April 16, 2021 filed the first criminal case before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against the registered owner of Bianmintina Store and the Storage in Pasay City for the alleged unlawful importation and sale of various assorted cigarettes amounting to P1.571 million last December 16, 2020.

BOC in a statement said the store owner purportedly violated relevant sections of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act; Customs Memorandum Order No. 20-2006 (Implementing Certain Provisions of RA 9334 or An Act Increasing the Specific Tax Rates imposed on Alcohol and Tobacco Products); Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act; and Section 10 of National Tobacco Administration Board Resolution 079-2005.

The second smuggling case was filed against Hightower Inc. and its customs broker for the alleged misdeclaration and unlawful importation of prohibited agricultural fish products such as round scad and mackerel with a total value of P2.607 million.

Under the Department of Agriculture (DA) Special Order No. 705 series of 2020, importation of round scad, bonito, mackerel, and moonfish for processing and/or for institutional buyers is temporarily suspended. The violation was committed November 22, 2020 at the Manila International Container Port, BOC noted.

The importer and its customs broker allegedly violated relevant provisions of the CMTA; the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, as amended; DA Special Order No 705; Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016; and the Revised Penal Code, as amended.

To date, BOC has filed 26 criminal cases against erring importers and customs brokers.

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