THE Bureau of Customs-Enforcement and Security Service (BOC-ESS) seized four container vans of “ukay-ukay” or used clothing misdeclared as clothing accessories.

The shipments arrived at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) in North Harbor, Manila from India and Hong Kong.

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Customs Chief Police Superintendent Joey Yuchongco, who is ESS acting director, said the vans have been alerted on the basis that they are banned importation under Republic Act 4653.

“These shipments were seized since commercial importation of textile articles commonly known as used clothing and rags is banned,” he said.

Yuchongco added that the prohibited commodities have violated existing laws and notwithstanding the risk and hazard posed by used clothing to public health.

Based on the bill of lading, the cargoes were consigned to Acab Enterprises and Vanguard Logistics Services.

With this, Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez ordered the ESS to conduct a thorough investigation to be able to file charges against the people behind the illegal shipments.

“This accomplishment of ESS is part of the BOC's campaign to make smuggling unprofitable and corruption as simple crime. The job is not going to be easy but I have no doubt we will succeed instilling fear on smugglers and cohorts in the BOC,” Alvarez said.

On the other hand, the bureau is expected to turn over the items to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (FP/Sunnex)