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P2.7-M iPhones seized

By: Betheena Kae Unite

Several units of iPhone 7 plus worth P2.7 million were recently seized by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) from a Chinese passenger who failed to show import permits.

Passenger Wen Congkai was stopped by authorities upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 on July 21 due to irregularities seen in his baggage during x-ray examination, a belated report from the bureau said.

Upon further inspection, 61 units of iPhone were found inside Congkai’s baggage.

The items were seized when Congkai failed to provide import documents, including a permit from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Maj. Jaybee Raul Cometa, head of X-Ray Inspection Project (XIP) Unit, immediately recommended the issuance of a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) for violation of an NTC memorandum circular and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The seized mobile phones and chargers are temporarily deposited at the In-Bond Room at Terminal 1 pending investigation.

Meanwhile, Cometa disclosed that the bureau will put up 19 brand new x-ray machines to curb smuggling in the three terminals of the NAIA.

“These machines will be delivered sometime in August and will be running after installations in NAIA terminals. These necessary steps will support our stronger campaign against the illegal entry of goods to the country,” Cometa said.

Currently, the BoC has one x-ray machine each at NAIA Terminal 1 and 2, and two machines at NAIA Terminal 3.