BOC foils passage of P32.7-M worth of misdeclared cigarettes

BOC foils passage of P32.7-M worth of misdeclared cigarettes

The anti-smuggling efforts of the Bureau of Customs – Enforcement Security Service (ESS), Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), and the Manila International Container Port (MICP), resulted in the seizure of a container of misdeclared cigarettes worth P32.7 million at the Import Exit Gate (IEG) in MICP on July 02, 2020.

The shipment was intercepted by the Enforcement and Security Service personnel because allegedly, it has not undergone proper examination in accordance with the procedures set forth. The subject container was inspected by the Inspection Unit (IU) on July 02 and initial investigation unveiled that the declarations were SH brand non-woven bags but were found to contain 1,092 master cases of D&B cigarettes.

Three (3) alleged officials of a Customs Brokers group attempted to negotiate for the release of said container after questioning the authority to inspect the containers. Moreover, the IU explained that the subject inspection that was conducted is covered by a memorandum signed by the Customs Commissioner last April 27, 2020 regarding inspection of Imported Shipments during Public Health Emergency and/or Enhanced Community Quarantine.

Considering this incident, the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) – MICP will issue appropriate subpoena against the responsible officers of the consignee, its nominated brokers, and other accessories, to provide necessary information relative to the subject shipment. Also, the CIIS will conduct strict monitoring on other shipments of the consignee, including shipments transacted by the nominated brokers.

Under the RA 10863 or “The Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA)”, any person who shall fraudulently import or assist in so doing, contrary to law, or shall receive, conceal, buy, sell, or in any manner facilitate the concealment of such goods and the act of misdeclaration as to quality and description of the goods are both punishable by law.

As the nation gears to embrace the new normal in relation to day-to-day activities, the BOC will remain committed to curb illegal imports and exports and eradicate graft and corruption opportunities.

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