AROUND P35 million worth of smuggled spices and used clothes (ukay-ukay) were seized by the customs officials at the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, on Wednesday, June 6.

The alerted shipment placed in 14 container vans slipped through the Bureau of Customs (BOC) because of misdeclaration.

Five containers were declared to be containing garlic worth nearly P11 million but officials discovered onions mixed up inside while the other nine were declared to be used bags and shoes worth some P25 million but it turned out to be used clothing.

Customs commissioner Isidro Lapeña said the spices were shipped from China while the other contraband came from Korea.

Lapeña said aside from misdeclaring the items, onions and the used clothings are prohibited by law because of health issues.

The confiscation of the shipments is based on the warrant of seizure and detention issued by the customs collector of Cagayan de Oro.

Lapeña said some of the consignees are from Cagayan de Oro and the brokers' accreditation will have to be suspended and may be revoked once the customs collector submits the report.

"May sa CDO may di sa CDO (There are some from Cagayan de Oro while there are some not from the city) and the consignees and the brokers yung accreditation nila (their accreditation) will be suspended and eventually marerevoke yan (will be revoked)," he said.

The BOC chief said after the investigation the owners may likely face charges for violation of section 1400 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) for misdeclaration.

Lapeña added the seized items will be appropriately disposed either through auction, destruction or donation.

"Prohibited items like onion and ukay-ukay automatic destructed yan yung iba depende sa (the others will depend on the) collector kung paano i-dispose kasi (on how they will dispose them since) we have three modes of disposal: auction, destruction or donation," Lapeña said.