P10-M worth of illegal marine products from Cebu seized-A A +A
Thursday, October 25, 2012
MANILA -- About P10-million worth of dried marine products suspected to be smuggled out of the country were intercepted by authorities, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Thursday.
Ruffy Biazon, BOC commissioner, said 2,300 kilos of illegal dried marine products shipment was consigned to Golden East Marine Export Inc. of Las Piñas City and may have been intended for export.
The seized marine products, which were dried cut and sliced portions of manta rays and sting rays, arrived at the Manila North Harbor on board MV Princess of the South on August 12.
Two weeks later, the illegal marine goods, which were inside a 10-footer container van from Cebu, were confiscated by authorities.
It was also discovered that the shipment was transported from Cebu without the required clearance from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
"This seems to be an attempt to smuggle out of the country highly valuable marine products which are considered endangered species by the government," said Biazon.
He added that maximum penalties provided by law shall be applied to all those involved in the smuggling attempt.
"These poaching should be stopped and poachers must be jailed. These people are responsible for depleting the country's already dwindling natural resources," Biazon said.
According to the BOC, dried gills and meat of manta ray and sting ray per kilogram cost up to $500 (about P20,600) in the export market. Other parts of stingrays can cost $8 (about P320) per kilo. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)