BOC seizes P90 M smuggled sugar, cigarettes in container vans from HK, China

Manila, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs has discovered P90.4 million worth of smuggled sugar and cigarettes from five container vans at the Manila International Container Port, leading to their seizure and filing of charges against suspected culprits.

In its report Saturday, the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-MICP (CIIS-MICP) said it recommended the issuance of Alert Orders (AOs) after receiving derogatory information about the shipments—three of which were from Hong Kong, while two were from China.

Subsequently, the examination revealed an estimated P90,442,850 worth of smuggled cigarettes and sugar inside the five containers.

The containers, which arrived between January 5, 2023, and February 12, 2023, contained misdeclared and undeclared sugar and cigarettes.

“These contrabands threaten the economy and put Filipino consumers at risk. I’d like to assure everyone that we are equally relentless in our efforts to keep our borders secure from these smuggling activities,” Customs Commissioner Rubio said in a statement Saturday.

Also present during the inspection were BOC Intelligence Group Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy and Manila International Container Port District Collector Arnoldo Famor, respectively.

Uy said the agency had been “actively monitoring” information about shipments that possibly contain smuggled goods in an intensified effort to curb the entry of contraband and illegal products into the country.

“We cannot stress it enough: it is unlawful to bring products into the Philippines without the proper permits. By now, these unscrupulous groups should understand the severity of our non-stop campaign against their illegal activities,” he said.

BOC said that corresponding seizure and forfeiture proceedings will be conducted against the subject shipments for violation of Section 1113 (Goods Liable for Seizure and Forfeiture) in relation to Section 117 (Regulated Goods) of Republic Act No. 10863 known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), Republic Act 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, Sugar Regulatory Administration rules and regulations, and National Tabacco Administration rules and regulations.

Also, the case records will be immediately referred to the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) for case build-up and filing of corresponding criminal cases against those responsible for the illegal importation of the subject agricultural and tobacco products for violation of Section 1401 (Unlawful Importation) of the CMTA, and the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.