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P40-M smuggled rice seized

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The Bureau of Customs seized yesterday P40-million worth of smuggled rice loaded in 26 shipping containers at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon led the inspection of the containers which was reported to have arrived in the country from Vietnam last November 7 and 13.

According to Faeldon, the shipments were originally declared as glutinous supplies but were later discovered as rice.
It was learned that the agency was alerted on the shipments after spurious documents were used to release the said containers.

Faeldon said the shipments were declared to have originated from Hong Kong. However, since Hong Kong does not produce rice, they are tracing where the shipment really originated.

“’Yung bagong scheme nila, kasi kapag galing Vietnam, Thailand, naghihigpit na tayo so dinadaan muna sa ibang bansa but we’ll definitely trace kung saan ito galling,” he said.

The Customs chief added that the broker, which he refused to identify, will be charged for misdeclaration, misclassification, or undervaluation in the goods declaration under the Customs and Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

He added that in the Implemented Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the CMTA, smuggling of agricultural products worth R10 million and above qualifies as economic sabotage and is non-bailable.

“Expect us to announce the names of these smugglers. Hindi lang ito (Not only for this case), we have other cases of smuggling of rice, sabay-sabay namin ire-release (we will release them all at once) after we file the case in court,” he said.. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)

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