BoC Zambo seizes P42-M smuggled rice

| Bureau of Customs

The Bureau of Customs Port of Zamboanga has forfeited 42,180 sacks of rice worth P42 million following a raid on a warehouse in Barangay San Jose Gusu.

BoC said its Port of Zamboanga conducted an inspection of the warehouse with the assistance of the Coast Guard Intelligence Group-Southwestern Mindanao, Task Force Aduana and Marine Battalion Landing Team 11.

They were armed with a letter of authority signed by the BoC chief.  A total of 42,180 sacks of Jasmine fragrant rice were found during the inspection.

The owner’s representative submitted import documents for the rice, but the BoC’s Enforcement and Security Service-Customs Police Division and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service found that the rice was not covered by the necessary sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance from the Bureau of Plant Industry.

The authorities also discovered that there were discrepancies between the actual seized goods and what was declared in the documents presented purportedly covering the same.

The proofs of payment submitted referred to a shipment of white rice, 15 percent of which was broken, while based on the actual examination, the seized sacks of rice were jasmine-fragrant rice.

The BoC Port of Zamboanga issued an Order of Forfeiture against the rice on 1 September 2023, for violating Section 1113(f) in connection with Section 117 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act of 2016, the Rice Tariffication Law, and Republic Act No. 10845, also known as the “Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.”

The Port of Zamboanga said it will continue to monitor complaints of smuggling in all forms and take appropriate action, according to BoC-PoZ District Collector Arthur G. Sevilla Jr.

Collector Sevilla Jr. added that the forfeited goods may be donated to the government.

With Lade Jean Kabagani

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