Subic Bay Freeport—The Bureau of Customs Port of Subic placed on tight watch some importers believed responsible for sneaking into the Philippine waters smuggled items including agricultural products, after authorities intercepted several containers carrying imported vegetables worth P66 million over the weekend.
Port of Subic District Collector Maritess T. Martin said she received information on alleged changing of business name multiple times as modus operandi of smugglers to gain access in the port of destination.
“Intelligence reports have it that EMV Consumer Goods changed its name multiple times but was still detected due to the intense profiling of shipments,” Martin said in a statement sent to reporters.
She directed the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) to undertake profiling of 22 40-footer container vans consigned to JKJ International Co., and EMV Consumer Goods Trading, both shippers of the contrabands shipped from China.
“On account of the directive of the Commissioner of Customs to be vigilant in protecting the borders against the entry of smuggled goods, the Port of Subic issued a Pre-Lodgement Control Order (PLCO) against the shipments,” said Martin.
The shipments include vegetables including broccoli, cauliflowers, carrots and other agricultural products for distribution to local markets if not Intercepted.
Last month alone, 18 forty-footer containers vans of imported vegetables were also intercepted at the Port of Subic. The shipment were not claimed by the consignee and left to rot at the BoC compound.
Local vegetables traders have been complaining of the imported agricultural products that had been flooding the local markets thus gravely affecting the prices of our local farmers’ products.
The conduct of non-intrusive (X-Ray) and physical examination confirmed that the shipments contained assorted agricultural products such as carrots, sweet oats, broccoli, mushroom, and red onions.
Present during the examination are the Bureau of Customs officials, representatives from the CIIS and Enforcement and Security Service witnessed by the Economic Intelligence Team, Assistant Secretary Laciste of the Department of Agriculture, as well as representatives from National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Trade Industry, SBMA and K9 PDEA.
Warrants of Seizure and Detention shall be issued against the shipments for violation of DA Department Circular No. 04 series of 2016 and Section 1113 (f) of the Republic Act No. 10863 also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
Martin said that the Port will continue to stay alert against unscrupulous importers especially since the Holiday Season is fast approaching.