MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) filed Thursday before the Department of Justice a 43-million smuggling case against four traders for unlawful importation of onions and potatoes.
Charged were Nazario Canono and Tirso Otar, responsible officers of D'Golden House; Vivian P. Rosales, owner/proprietor of Alvee Trading; and William M. Lejano, owner/proprietor of Aya Day Trading.
BOC Commissioner Rozzano Rufino "Ruffy" Biazon said Canono, Otar, Rosales and Lejano brought into the country 23 40-footer container vans of onions and potatoes that arrived at the port of Davao without the necessary import permits/clearances from the Department of Agriculture.
Biazon said the smuggled onions and potatoes were declared as shortening, yeast, lanolin and margarine in violation of Section 3601 in relation to Section 2503 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP).
"These attempts to bring into the country illegally imported onions are not intended to fill in a demand or shortage, but simply, to exploit the high demand for the crop, to the detriment, of course, of our local farmers," Biazon said.
"The days of smugglers at the BOC are numbered, especially those involved in the illegal importation of agricultural and food products. With the 100-percent examination of all food importations now imposed by the Bureau, smugglers would soon realize that the BOC is not the place for them to be," Biazon added.
For their part, Intelligence Group Deputy Commissioner Danilo Lim and Enforcement Group Deputy Commissioner Horacio Suansing conveyed their satisfaction over the personnel of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service and the Enforcement and Security Services, for the accomplishment in apprehending the aforesaid smuggled agricultural products.
Deputy Commissioner Peter Manzano said that, to date, the Run-After-The-Smugglers (RATS) Group has filed a total of 37 cases under the watch of Biazon.
Manzano added that the RATS Group has lived up to its mandate – to curb smuggling activities through continuous case profiling/building and active prosecution of smuggling cases.
"Having in mind the leadership of the Honorable Commissioner in accordance with the directive of His Excellency, President Benigno S. Aquino III, rest assured that the RATS Group will relentlessly and continuously combat smuggling in all forms, in all ports and at all costs," Manzano said. (PNA/Sunnex)