NBI seizes sacks of smuggled rice in Paranaque

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Saturday, February 8, 2014


MORE than 1,000 sacks of smuggled "high-grade" rice were seized by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) during a raid on a warehouse in Paranaque City Saturday.

Lawyer Peter Lugay of the NBI said the shipment was picked-up by 11 10-wheeler trucks on Friday night at the South Harbor in Manila and were later delivered at a warehouse in Barangay Tambo.

He said the smuggled rice were hidden underneath assorted dry goods and footwear inside the container vans so it won't be easily noticed by inspectors of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

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Lugay said that the warehouse reportedly served as temporary storage facility for the rice and other goods before these are distributed and delivered to various destinations. The lawyer added that the NBI is currently in the process of identifying these areas.

"Mabilis ang movement mula dito [sa warehouse]. From here, mga two days lang yan tapos alis na [pa ma-deliver]," Lugay said.

The joint operation by the NBI and BOC was conducted around 11 a.m. Saturday but the bureau has yet to establish the real identity of the warehouse owner. The property allegedly belongs to a certain Joseph Go.

Lugay and the National Food Authority (NFA) mentioned several violations by the warehouse owner particularly the lack of necessary documents for the facility to operate.

"Kahit isang dokumento wala silang maipakita. Walang transport or import permit. Wala," Lugay said.

Two Chinese nationals, identified as Tan Liang, 22, and Huang Dahua, 24, were inside the warehouse at the time of the raid.

Tan, who resides inside the warehouse, said that he has no idea who owns the structure. He said that he does not have any documents with him aside from the five-page inventory list.

Each sack of the smuggled rice weighs 25 kilograms but the NFA said that the law mandates that a sack of rice must contain 50 kilograms.

The NBI has yet to give a final estimate on the seized goods' market value pending inventory process. (Sunnex)

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