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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

BOC nabs man for P112m worth of smuggled onions

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The Bureau of Customs arrested a suspected big-time agricultural smuggler and seized 30 container vans of smuggled onions worth P112 million.

Jayson de Roxas Taculog was arrested on Nov. 15 for violating Republic Act No. 10845, which classifies large-scale agricultural smuggling as economic sabotage, with no bail recommended, the BOC announced Friday.

Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 26 Judge Edilu Hayag issued the arrest warrant.

Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio said the arrest of the suspected large-scale smuggler was a huge step in the government’s campaign against agricultural smuggling.

“This shows the commitment of the Marcos administration to go after these big-time agricultural smugglers. Bringing in these goods illegally is a significant threat to our economy, to the livelihoods of small farmers, and to the competitiveness of legitimate businesses,” he said.

“I hope that this latest operation will serve as a strong deterrent for other smugglers not to even attempt circumventing our laws and making a mockery of them,” Rubio added.

Customs Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy said coordination among key government agencies was key to Taculog’s arrest.

“This showcased our team’s unwavering commitment to bringing these perpetrators to justice and upholding the integrity of legitimate trade and importation. In many cases, smuggling agricultural, poultry, and food products pose a threat to the health and safety of consumers,” he said.

“For that alone, we want to make sure here in the BOC that we cover all bases and we see the finality of these cases,” he added

President Marcos earlier certified Senate Bill No. 2432—the proposedAnti-Agricultural Economic Sabotage Act—as urgent.

The measure, which would repeal the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, aims to end acts of smuggling, hoarding, profiteering, and cartel of agricultural and fishery products.

Such crimes would be penalized with life imprisonment and a fine thrice the value of the agricultural and fishery products involved.

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