BOC Monitors Illegal Traders of PPEs and Medical Supplies

BOC Monitors Illegal Traders of PPEs and Medical Supplies

As the country battles the deadly Novel Coronavirus  (COVID-19), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) – Intelligence Group (IG) continue to be at the forefront in ensuring that unscrupulous businessmen would not take advantage of the situation by selling overpriced personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies. Further, there is an ongoing case build-up by BOC, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to pin down personalities illegally selling medicines which can allegedly cure COVID 19 infection.

In its operations, the BOC has been continuously coordinating with concerned agencies such as the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), DTI and NBI in investigating traders selling medicines claiming to cure COVID 19, yet without Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permit.

BOC-IG reported that they have been closely monitoring situation at the various ports and validating reports of smuggled PPEs and medical supplies that are of great demand at this time of pandemic.

In coordination with counterparts from the NBI, DTI and PCG, the BOC has been keeping its ears close to the ground and validating with reliable sources for possible leads on illegal selling of essential health supplies and medicines.

In a span of  1 week , from March 25 to March 31, the BOC-IG raided three medical supply stores in Manila and confiscated an estimated Php 20 million worth of PPE and medical supplies such as facemasks, gloves, goggles, and other medical items including alcohols, thermal scanners, test tubes, and syringes.

Currently there is already an ongoing forfeiture proceeding against the three establishments before the BOC’s Law Division, with the owners facing possible criminal charges before the courts.

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