Smuggled rice worth P42.5M seized in Subic port-A A +A
Friday, July 20, 2012
GOVERNMENT authorities have seized 90-forty-footer container vans of illegally imported rice from Vietnam worth P42.5 million in Subic port, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Friday.
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said the vans containing 45,000 bags of rice stacked in them were consigned to Masagana Import Export Inc., of 2161 P. Paterno St., De La Paz, Binan, Laguna and Oriental Tradelink Express Inc. of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
He said the entire rice shipment came from Vietnam and were declared in their entries as construction materials and gypsum boards.
"This is a large scale attempt to smuggle rice into the country by misdeclaring the illegal shipment of rice which, had it not been for our alert customs operatives, could have affected the livelihood of many of our local farmers," Biazon said, adding that, "We will vigorously pursue charges against those involved in this attempt."
He said the milestones of the BOC in its fight against smuggling, like the recent arrest of a Malaysian national who tried to sneak in four kilos of "shabu" at the airport and this seizure of 45,000 bags of rice are the results of the agency's enhanced monitoring of all shipment entering the country's seaports and airports.
"We are virtually close to completing the loop that will interconnect the BOC with all other regulating agencies involved in the processing of import permits and clearances through the National Single Window (NSW). With human intervention practically minimized, if not totally eliminated in the process, this would eventually translate into a higher level of integrity in all customs transactions," Biazon stressed.
Some of the country's Freeport Zones, because of their duty free privileges for their locators, have been tapped by some unscrupulous traders as entry points for their shipment, he said.
But because of the BOC's close monitoring of these economic zones, most, if not all of the illegal shipment coursed through the Freeport Zones, like the 45,000 bags of illegally imported rice from Vietnam have been seized, he added.
"We will never allow the smugglers to exploit the privileges being offered by the government to legitimate locators of all Freeport Zones," Biazon said. (SDR/Sunnex)