Customs agents seized in Manila North Harbor a shipment of smuggled cigarettes valued at P38-million from China.
The shipment contained 1,090 cases of cigarettes with brands such as Marvel, Mighty, and Astro, and was consigned to Green Nature Alliance Ventures.
Manila International Container Port - Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (MICP-CIIS) chief Alvin Enciso said the shipment was placed under 100 percent physical examination after port district collector Romeo Allan Rosales issued a pre-lodgment control order (PLCO) last Friday.
“There was already derogatory information before the lodgement of goods declaration. That was the basis of the PLCO. We acted on it based on the information that we received,” he added.
Enciso explained that the agency started implementing the PLCO when Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero took the helm. He said it should be used as “an instrument or tool to ensure that the proper method of valuation of goods is being observed.”
Enciso assured that proper processing is also being observed as the physical examination of the shipment was witnessed by members of the bureau’s Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) and Formal Entry Division (FED).
After the examination, a Warrant of Seizure and Detention was issued against the shipment for violation of Section 1400 in relation to Section 1113 of Republic Act 10863, also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, and the National Tobacco Authority regulations and circulars.
Since Guerrero became commissioner, he put in place measures and policies tto help curb smuggling in the country.
“I understand what I was facing when I came here. It has been my goal since before I took office to help stop illegal smuggling in the country. It would be a huge benefit to our economy to stop these illegal activities in our ports,” Guerrero said.
“We still need to do more but with the commitment and hard work of our men, we’re hopeful that the day will come that smuggling will be a distant memory,” he added.
Collector Rosales, for his part, said the MICP remains at the forefront of border security in the country, and is committed to the Customs’ chief thrust of stopping the entrance of smuggled goods.
The port also intensified its anti-car muggling efforts in recent months. In the past three weeks, it seized at least three containers of smuggled luxury vehicles from Japan and Dubai.