P118-M worth of smuggled Thai rice seized
Over a hundred containers of rice illegally imported rice from Thailand was seized by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) for lack of import permit.
The haul, which had an estimated worth of P118 million arrived at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) in several shipments – the first arriving on November 24, 2015, the second shipment arriving from December 1 to 3, 2015, while the final 12 containers arrived on December 12, 2015.
The shipments, consigned to the Calumpit Multi-Purpose Cooperative was found to have no importation permit from the National Food Authority (NFA) which is a requirement for rice imports.
The consignee is also looking to face charges of violation to Section 2530 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, as amended, by RA 7651.
While it was reported that the consignee appealed the seizure order for the shipments citing that the import permit was being processed at the NFA, Customs officials maintained that upon checking with the NFA, the agency verified that there was no such application being processed at their office.
“Our bureau’s anti-smuggling drive, as shown by the exemplary and strengthened teamwork exhibited by our intelligence and enforcement groups with our new district collectors, should serve as a reminder to smugglers that illicit trade in the bureau will be prosecuted in accordance with the law. It’s no longer business as usual. The Bureau is working with various government agencies to make sure smuggling is addressed with an iron hand,” Customs Commissioner Albert Lina said. (ANGEL ONG)