TWO Customs officials were ordered relieved in connection with the ongoing investigation on the missing high-tech electronic items at the bureau's storage facility in South Harbor last February.

Bureau intelligence chief Fernandino Tuason identified the officials as Eric Albano, chief of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Operations Section, and his assistant Mitchell Verdeflor.

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Internal Inquiry and Prosecution Division under lawyer Willie Sarmiento is conducting the probe on the alleged pilferage.

Some of the missing items were 50-inch plasma television sets, cameras, Sony portable playstation, DKNY and Bulgari perfumes, G-shock watches, JVC car stereos, and digital versatile disc video players.

Last week, Sarmiento has sent subpoenas to the involved Customs personnel, a broker representative and a warehouse man to shed light on the case.

Also subpoeaned were CIIS agent Jover Jordan, Enforcement and Security Service personnel Erwin Catabay and Alfredo Adao, warehouseman Pedro Revecho, Port of Manila examiner Noemi Mendoza, and Customs brokerage representative Raul Marasigan.

The missing items are part of the 1,117 packages of electronic and household items contained inside a 40-foot van seized by CIIS operatives last February 10.

The said shipment arrived at the Port of Manila on February 3 on board vessel Sinotrans Shanghai and consigned to Quick Flo Trading. The shipment was exported by Jamraj Enterprises of Singapore.

Also part of the shipment were video players, hydraulic oil, battery, battery chargers, car audio, torch lights, compact discs, printer, repair kit, foodstuff, medicines, cordless telephone, fax machine, power supply, memory stick, motor oil, adaptor, audio tapes, car stereo, camera flash and telephones among others. (FP/Sunnex)