Port of Davao Seizes Smuggled Cigarettes Worth Php 24 Million
The Bureau of Customs Intelligence Group (IG), Enforcement Group (EG) and Port of Davao’s strengthened cooperation and coordination with the Interpol resulted in the seizure of 1,325 boxes of illegally imported President brand cigarettes from Vietnam valued at P24, 843,750.00 at the BOC-POD supervised Sub-port of Dadiangas on June 3, 2020.
The operation was instigated by an advance information at the shipment’s port of origin, prompting the subsequent issuance of an alert order to Vengeur International Trading’s importation. The misdeclaration was confirmed on June 3, 2020 during the 100% physical inspection of the 40-footer container van at the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) container Yard 2.
According to sub-port of Dadiangas’ Collector Elenita Abano, of the shipment’s declared 25,000 brand new corrugated boxes, only 1,100 pieces of corrugated boxes were found inside the container van. However, another 1,325 misdeclared boxes of President cigarettes were also discovered inside the same container.
“The shipment did not only violate Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 8-2007 or the “Description of Imported Articles in Tariff Terms,” as implemented in Customs Memorandum Order Number (CMO) 28-2007 or “Goods Declared in General Manner to Avoid Proper Classification and Valuation,” but also violated Section 117 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) on import and export of regulated items like cigarettes,” Abano said.
Port of Davao District Collector, Atty. Erastus Sandino Austria warned importers and traders not to use his port or any of his district’s supervised sub-ports for illegal activities as he will never tolerate any form of illicit trade in his district.
“The seizure of this illegal importation of cigarettes from Vietnam should serve as a warning to importers and traders that with strengthened cooperation with international intelligence and anti-crime organizations, we will be a step ahead of whatever their future plans are,” Austria said.
Relatedly, Collector Austria has already issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) on Venguer International Trading shipment, even as a recommendation for the filing of appropriate charges to all those involved in this foiled attempt to smuggle cigarettes into the country including the suspension, if not cancellation of the BOC accreditation of Venguer International Trading, as the importer/consignee of the said confiscated shipment.
The enhanced efforts to curb smuggling at BOC under Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero’s directive to tighten cooperation and coordination with other intelligence and enforcement agencies, is a priority program to make transactions at the Bureau faceless, paperless and cashless, a program that is seen to curb corruption and smuggling at BOC.
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