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Clark port seizes gambling devices

Clark Freeport—Over 2,500 pieces of international bank cards, accessories, and magnetic storage devices, including one-time password devices apparently intended for use in online gambling operations, were intercepted in separate occasions by examiners of the Bureau of Customs Port of Clark, District Collector lawyer Ruby Alameda announced Thursday.

Alameda said BOC Port of Clark also seized film tapes consigned to GMA 7 Worldwide Inc., a television station in Manila, which were left abandoned with no one coming forward to claim the cargo sent via courier stationed in this freeport.

Alameda said the contraband originated mostly from Macau, Hong Kong and other areas in China. She said it was shipped to different consignees with addresses in Metro Manila.

The seized items, she said, were neatly concealed in different parcels declared as electronic items such as loudspeaker accessories and others.

The items are commonly used in gambling operations particularly by Chinese employees who have contracts with Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO), the Standard gathered.

“These materials and accessories of online gambling are illegal and violative of the Customs Law and Regulations. Consignees also violated the Anti-Money Laundering Act. That is why we are very vigilant against these items, and it has always been my stand that our men and women here at the Port of Clark must apprehend these items,” said Alameda, shortly after she formally turned over the contraband to the Optical Media Board (OMB). 

She said items like these have been confiscated on many occasions and have accumulated in a BOC bonded warehouse, subject for turnover to an appropriate concern government agency for condemnation and destruction.

Alameda said the Port of Clark issued numerous warrants of seizure and detention against the shippers and consignees of the parcels.

OMB Internal Auditor Ed Lara said electronic magnetic storage and OTP devices and similar accessories will be destroyed in a hazardous waste disposal in Trece Martires, Cavite. 

Lara said some of the electronic gadgets seized by different agencies will be turned over to Department of Education for used of students, especially online classes amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

OMB Chair Christian Natividad reminded the public that importation of any form of storage device requires a license and permit from the board to avoid confiscation or being taken into preventive custody.

Topics: Ruby Alameda , Bureau of Customs Port of Clark , Optical Media Board , Ed Lara , Department of Education
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