At least P206 million worth of smuggled frozen poultry, seafood products, and refined sugar were seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in separate raids in Navotas City in Metro Manila and in Subic, Zambales.
Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio said the agency, in coordination with other law enforcement agencies, conducted the raids on seven warehouses and cold storage facilities in Navotas and found various meat and sea food products, such as frozen pork legs, chicken drumsticks, pork spareribs, squid rings, crayfish, pork ears, pork hinges, abalone, brawley beef, pork aorta, chicken feet, pork riblets, golden pampano, pangasius fillet, boneless pork ham, fish tofu, and pork ears.
The BOC chief said that most of the frozen seafood were from China while the frozen beef came from Brazil and Australia, and the pork from the United States and Russia.
The raiders also found an empty warehouse that was purposely made to be a cold storage facility.
“This is outstanding work by our law enforcement officers and our bureau personnel. I understand how much effort and commitment it takes to inspect all of these warehouses in just one day. It also goes to show how important proper coordination is among government agencies because these operations won’t be possible without it,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group Juvymax Uy said the bureau has intensified its anti smuggling drive to protect and stopped the economic impact of smuggled products entering into Philippine markets.
“Our officers have once more shown their diligence to target, detect, and intercept potential threats to our people’s economic activities. This is just one of the ways the bureau protects the public—by keeping these products away from consumers and thus safeguarding the livelihoods of those who go through the proper legal process of bringing in imported goods,” Rubio added.
Meanwhile, the BOC Subic confiscated smuggled sugar valued at P86 million contained in 30 20-footer containers which arrived from Hong Kong.
The shipment was declared to contain slipper outsoles and styrene butadiene rubber but was found to contain refined sugar.
The BOC agents conducted a non-intrusive examination and 100-percent physical examination, which yielded 15,648 bags/sacks of Refined Sugar.
“The Bureau of Customs’ continuous efforts in combating illicit goods at the border has been very effective with the help of our partner agencies. With this, I’d like to commend the Port of Subic and remind them to remain steadfast in protecting our borders,” Rubio added.
In a statement, the bureau said Port of Subic district collector Marites Martin issued Pre-Lodgment Control Orders after receiving derogatory reports from the BOC Intelligence Group (IG) and Enforcement Group (EG), against the containers declared to contain slipper outsoles and styrene butadiene rubber but suspected to carry refined sugar.
Martin, together with Department of Agriculture (DA) assistant secretary James Layug, and representatives from the Sugar Regulatory Agency, were present during the physical examination.
The BOC already issued Warrants of Seizure and Detention (WSD) against the shipments in violation of SRA and BOC Joint Memorandum Order No.
04-2002 dated Aug. 16, 2002, and Section 1400, in relation to Section 1113 (f) of the Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).