Agricultural smuggling now economic sabotage
Large-scale agricultural smuggling will now be considered economic sabotage and meted higher penalties after President Aquino signed into law the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act (RA 10845).
The bill was pushed by livestock producers who have been feeling the pinch of lower-priced, smuggled imported meat.
They said smuggling was an all-time high under the Aquino administration.
Under the new law, agricultural smuggling will be penalized with life imprisonment and a fine of twice the value of the smuggled product and the taxes that were supposed to be paid.
It also prescribes imprisonment of 17-20 years on the dummy individual or organization that allows the use of their import permits for smuggling.
A fine of 12-17 years will also be imposed on the owners and lessees of vessels used for smuggling.
The Bureau of Customs will draft the implementing rules and regulations.