Customs Port of Cebu Intercepts Smuggled Cigarettes Worth Php54.6 Million

Customs Port of Cebu Intercepts Smuggled Cigarettes Worth Php54.6 Million

20 August 2020— The Bureau of Customs (BOC) – Port of Cebu foiled another attempt to smuggle cigarettes into the country.

On 16 August 2020, a total of 1,092 master cases of “Astro” cigarettes with an estimated street value of Php54.6 Million consigned to GRR Trading arrived in Port of Cebu in a 40-footer container said to contain drawers, tables, cabinets, and lockers.

Derogatory information that the shipment is loaded with cigarettes prompted IO3 Carlo A. Bautista, Chief, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS)-Cebu Field Station to recommend the issuance of a Pre-Lodgement Control Order (PLCO). Based on the request, Acting District Collector Atty. Charlito Martin R. Mendoza immediately issued a PLCO against the shipment on 17 August 2020.

On 19 August 2020, officers from X-Ray Inspection Project (XIP) detected suspicious scanning images after placing the container under x-ray inspection. A 100% physical examination was subsequently conducted by assigned Customs Examiner Alfredo B. Regidor Jr. together with representatives from CIIS, XIP, Enforcement and Security Service, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc.-Cebu Chapter. The physical examination yielded 1,092 master cases of “Astro” brand cigarettes.

The shipment was issued on August 20, 2020 with Warrant of Seizure and Detention for violation of Section 1113 (f), (i), and (l) of Republic Act No. 10863 or the “Customs Modernization and Tariff Act” and will undergo seizure and forfeiture proceedings.

Last June, Port of Cebu intercepted a shipment of smuggled “Mighty” and “Marvel” cigarettes from China consigned to Giomab Trading and misdeclared as Oval Dish.

This latest apprehension affirms the Bureau’s continued commitment to protect the country’s borders and collect lawful revenues for the government.

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