The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 seized P6 million worth of misdeclared fresh white onions shipped to Silverpop Dry Goods Trading at the Manila International Container Port (MICP), in a new wave of anti -Smuggling efforts aimed at demonstrating the agency’s commitment to protecting the country’s borders.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, who has opposed attempts to tarnish the reputation of the agency and its officials, said the operation was a testament to the BOC’s hard work and sacrifice.
“We believe in our work, especially when it comes to stopping the smuggling of agricultural products. We take this very seriously. Therefore, we are making an exception to claims that the agency is doing less than excellent work to end agricultural smuggling,” he stressed.
Deputy Customs Commissioner for Intelligence Raniel Ramiro said his office had been alerted by “disparaging information” that said recipient’s shipments contained agricultural products, as well as misdeclared and undeclared items.
“We continue to man our borders against illegal shipments of agricultural products. This is a continuous effort and we will not rest until we put an end to these attempts to enforce our import laws,” he added.
Customs inspectors and other representatives ensured 100 percent inspection of the shipment of three 40-foot containers in which fresh white onions were found, despite being declared to contain Chinese steamed buns.
Upon learning of the presence of the contraband agricultural products, the MICP’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) immediately requested that Alert Order/Pre-Lodgement Control Orders (PLCOs) be issued.
MICP District Collector Romeo Allan Rosales issued the PLCOs on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 and is expected to also issue a Warrant for Seizure and Arrest (WSD) against the recipient.
Violations of import laws and regulations are expected to result in smuggling lawsuits and other appropriate legal proceedings.
This operation followed claims by several groups that customs officials had become protectors of agricultural product smugglers.
Customs insiders condemned Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III. submitted report, in which high-ranking customs officials were named as protectors of agricultural smugglers.
They lamented how others are trying to take down the agency after it successfully recovered from its once-battered image under Guerrero’s leadership.