BOC seizes agri products worth P139M
The shipments were declared to contain udon noodles and frozen dim sum balls, but the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service at MICP found them to have undeclared fresh red and white onions, frozen ox tripe, frozen barbecue, and frozen craw fish. (Photo courtesy of Bureau of Customs)
The government recently seized smuggled agricultural products worth millions in Muntinlupa, a high official said.
In a statement, Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz said he was livid upon finding out that the same company almost managed to bring in hundreds of millions worth of smuggled agricultural products into the country in less than two months.
Fresh from its operation that yielded more than P171-million worth of smuggled agricultural products from Muntinlupa City-based Taculog J International Consumer Goods Trading last week, the Bureau of Customs again seized P139.7-million worth of undeclared agricultural products from the same company during examinations held from 27 to 29 December.
The containers, which arrived from China between 27 November and 3 December at the Manila International Container Port, were consigned to Taculog J International Consumer Goods Trading located at B4 L7 Mariategui HMOA, Alabang, Muntinlupa.
“Although I am proud of our men and what they were able to accomplish these past weeks, I am appalled at the gall of these groups. We have reports coming in that a kilo of red onions sells for P720 in the markets. Bringing a hot commodity like onions into our borders without going through the proper procedures is an affront to our farmers, the people who make sure we have enough supply of it,” Ruiz said.
The shipments were declared to contain udon noodles and frozen dim sum balls, but the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service at MICP found them to have undeclared fresh red and white onions, frozen ox tripe, frozen barbecue, and frozen craw fish.
The Customs chief further said that the entry of smuggled agricultural products into the local markets affects the agricultural sector, the workers of which fall under the country’s poorest of the poor.
Customs Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy seconded the commissioner’s concerns about the country’s agricultural sector and the general public, especially during the holiday season.
“As Filipinos, we love to gather around the table during the holidays and share whatever food we have, but it seems that many of our kababayan won’t even get to cook their favorite spaghetti recipe because of the high cost of onions and other food products. For the bureau, just the mere act of trying to cross our borders with undeclared items is an insult,” he said.
Uy underscored the hard work that led to the bureau’s successful operations even during the merriest time of the year.
“I can’t praise our people enough. I know how hard they’ve been working to get to the bottom of how this company operates. And to do it during the holidays, that takes a special kind of commitment and dedication,” he added.
This recent operation comes after the bureau reported seizing P171.3-million worth of smuggled agricultural products, including fresh red and white onions, from containers that arrived from 12 November to 3 December, consigned to the same company.
The estimated total value of undeclared agricultural products that Taculog J International Consumer Goods Trading attempted to smuggle into the country from November to December 2022 amounted to P327.4 million.
The Customs bureau said that the seizure of smuggled agricultural products was made in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture because their importation requires clearance from the Bureau of Plant Industry, which falls under the ambit of the DA.
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