Customs seizes P9-M smuggled rice-A A +A
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized Tuesday 5,000 bags of smuggled imported rice worth P9 million loaded inside 10 20-footer container vans that were earlier placed under custody at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan town.
Danilo Lim, Customs deputy commissioner for Intelligence Group, said the smuggled sacks of Vietnamese Long Grain White Rice were consigned to “NFA FAO: Bubo Farmers Cooperative” and were imported under the Private Sector Financed (PSF) through the National Food Authority (NFA) Tax Expenditure Subsidy (TES).
Lim said the contraband does not have accompanying import documents and permit from the NFA.
The container vans arrived at the sub-port of Mindanao Container Terminal in Phividec, Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, sometime in July 2012 but was put on hold pending verification and authentication of documents.
Lim said the shipment was issued with an Alert Order by the district collector of the Cagayan de Oro Port for violation of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP).
He said despite some notices, the owner, importer, consignee or any interested party failed to claim the shipment.
Lim said the shipment has no records after verification at the NFA main office.
“Illegal importation of rice has a tremendous impact on the country’s economy. This is why we are vigilant in monitoring the importation of rice since the entry of such shipments could mean tragic loss of income to our local farmers,” he said.
Lourdes Mangaoang, Customs district collector for Cagayan de Oro, said the imported rice will be auctioned to raise additional revenues for the government.
With this, Mangaoang said they would strengthen more their monitoring and vowed to run after smugglers.
“Seizures are part of our stepped up campaign against all sorts of smuggling, especially on food and agricultural products,” she said.
Rice importation in the country is prohibited, unless undertaken by the NFA or when it is made by individuals or firms duly authorized by the NFA.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 13, 2013.