June 12, 2020 at 11:30 pm
Joel E. Zurbano and Vito Barcelo
Government agents seized P25 million worth of smuggled shipment of peking ducks, pork meat, and other food products during an operation at a warehouse in the province of Pampanga.
Members of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service intercepted the shipment in Baragay Anunas in Angeles City because of the bird flu threat.
The raid was conducted Thursday in coordination with the National Bureau of Investigation-Special Action Unit and the Philippine Coast Guard based on the Letter of Authority and mission order issued by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
With the help of the local police and barangay officials in the area, the LOA was served to one Jimgold M. Tan, a representative of the warehouse owner.
The authorities discovered 1, 149 boxes and sealed plastics containing soy sauce, oil, and frozen food products such as Peking ducks, fish balls, squid balls, vegetables, and frozen pork meat.
“Initial inventory of the goods resulted to 1,149 boxes, each with at least 10 heads of Peking ducks valued at P23 million while the other frozen goods worth P2 million,” the BOC said.
The shipment, according to the Customs bureau, was believed to have been smuggled into the country because of a ban on importing poultry products from a number of countries except the United States, Canada, and Australia.
These imported poultry products should pass stringent requirements and tests by the Customs and other regulatory government agencies.
The Port of Clark will act on the forfeiture case of these banned food products while the bureau's action team against smugglers will criminal charges against those responsible for bringing in the smuggled goods.
“As the nation gears to embrace the new normal in relation to day-to-day activities, the BOC will remain committed to curb illegal imports and exports of prohibited and counterfeit shipments,” said Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said.