P10-M worth of smuggled rice from Taiwan seized in Cebu port-A A +A
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
CEBU CITY (Updated) -- The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has confiscated 20 twenty-footer container vans of illegally imported rice from Taiwan worth over P10 million in Cebu, an official said Wednesday.
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said that 20 containers of illegally imported rice were consigned to two Cebu-based rice importers at 10 container vans per consignee.
The rice imports, consigned to ARFG Trading and Cargo Facilities Services and JBD Trading, both of Mandaue City, were misdeclared as STC wall insulator slabs to avoid the required importation permit from the National Food Authority (NFA), he said.
The rice imports arrived at the Port of Cebu during the third week of February this year, he added.
Also seized were four other container vans containing smuggled sugar worth P5 million, guns worth P200,000, high-end bags estimated to be worth P100 million, and a Cagiwa Raptor motorcycle worth P800,000.
The smuggled sugar was placed at the Port of Cebu holding area at Cebu International Port, while the guns, consisting of US-made caliber .22 Jennings pistol, one M16 rifle (baby armalite), one .357 magnum revolver and one 9mm caliber pistol, were consigned to one Ronald Banks of Australia.
It was Port of Cebu District Collector Edward dela Cuesta who presented the guns to Biazon.
Biazon, together with dela Cuesta, Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Danny Lim, and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service Director Fernandino Tuazon, also recovered smuggled high-end bags at Shang Building in Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City, particularly at the AHA Real Value Fashion Collection.
Dela Cuesta ordered the establishment padlocked pending investigation.
The group also seized a Cagiwa Raptor motorcycle at the U-Freight Cargo Forwarder.
“The significance on the seizure of the motorcycle is that the smuggler used a locator at Mactan Economic Zone locator by misdeclaring it as machinery parts for plant production,” Biazon said.
He said the seizure will serve as a warning to traders who may be contemplating of illegally importing goods to think twice, before they even seriously consider smuggling.
"We will strongly pursue our anti-smuggling program until it hurts smugglers the most," he stressed.
According to Biazon, the two consignees of the smuggled Taiwan rice will not only be blacklisted as its owners and brokers would also be charged in court.
"We will never allow violators of the country's Customs laws, particularly those involved in the illicit importation of rice to be left unpunished. We shall, as much as possible, apply the full force of the law, if only to protect the interest of the local farmers," the BOC chief said. (SDR/With EOB of Sun.Star Cebu/Sunnex)