Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon yesterday supervised the seizure of seven 20-foot container vans of white Thailand sugar worth at least P5 million.
The cargo was consigned to two locators at the Mactan Economic Processing Zone in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
In a separate operation, some 3,000 bags of smuggled rice were impounded at the Cebu City port last Nov. 24 by personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Customs and the Naval Intelligence Security Group.
Four of the seven container vans of sugar were consigned to Muramoto Audio Visuals (Philippines), Inc. and were misdeclared as plastic parts for eyeglasses.
Three others were listed as “marble and granite brounds” for Mobilia Products Inc., a furniture exporter.
The shipments arrived November 2 at the Cebu International Port (CIP).
“The contraband was also brought in without a permit from the Sugar Regulatory Authority (SRA),” said Biazon.
The customs chief ordered the filing of appropriate charges against the two companies, their brokers and complicit customs officials and employees.
Biazon commended Lourdes Mangaoang and her Customs team of X-ray scanning experts for their role in the administration’s anti-smuggling drive.
The 3,000 bags of rice from Davao City was found on board the MV Super Shuttle Ro-Ro 8, an interisland passenger and cargo vessel owned by the Asian Marine Transport Corp. in Pier 8, Mandaue City.
The 23 container vans of white rice had “no shipping clearance from the National Food Authority” and was consigned to a company called Cebu Lite with Cebu as the port of destination.
The MV Super Shuttle Ro-Ro 8 left Sasa Wharf in Davao on Nov. 21 and arrived on Nov. 23 in Cebu.
The rice shipment will remain in the custody of the Cebu Port Authority until its owner produces an NFA shipping clearance.
The ATMC was “also advised to hold the cargo,” the PCG added./INQUIRER