Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals, Press Releases » Two fake customs collectors fall in entrapment operation

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has apprehended two individuals allegedly posing as Customs personnel and collecting grease money for the release of a consignee’s shipments.

Arrested in an entrapment operation on September 2 were a certain Gerardo Bundalian a.k.a. Jerry and his conduit, Noel Panganiban, following a complaint by Moriel Trading through BOC’s 8484 text hotline that a supposed staffer from BOC’s Intelligence Group (IG) was demanding grease money for the release of its shipments.

A case conference was conducted on August 23, 2019, attended by the operations manager of Moriel Trading and representatives from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), BOC, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The complainant reported that alias Jerry, claiming to be an “IG BOC collector,” had already collected certain amounts from Moriel Trading on a number of occasions. On August 12, 2019, at Max Resto Harbor Mall, the amount of P21,000 was collected purportedly for the release of 14 containers; and on August 16, 2019 at the food court of Harrison Plaza in Manila, P27,000 exchanged hands for another 18 containers.

The third collection, supposedly for August 23, was reset for September 2, when Bundalian and Panganiban were arrested in the entrapment operation conducted by BOC-IG, NBI, AFP, and Philippine Coast Guard after the two accepted P43,000 in marked money.

The two suspects, whom investigation revealed are not Customs employees, were taken to NBI for a joint field investigation and underwent inquest proceedings.

BOC added that it is doing further investigation after the suspects’ mobile phones revealed the names of 80 individuals trying to do business with BOC.

BOC is advising stakeholders and customs employees to remain vigilant and report irregularities through its 8484 text hotline.

Last May 20, IG also apprehended during a joint entrapment operation two bogus customs brokers suspected of extorting money. On July 12, 2019, the group also arrested two suspects allegedly involved in the unauthorized sale of items seized by BOC.

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