The Bureau of Customs – Port of Cebu reported Friday that it has seized PHP4.5-million worth of used clothing or “ukay-ukay” from China.
BOC-Cebu acting district collector Charlito Martin Mendoza said they averted the smuggling attempt of 694 bales of used clothing loaded in a 40-footer container van.
Mendoza said the shipment that arrived from China on August 20 was declared as “hotel supplies”.
He said the shipment’s manifest also indicated that it was consigned to GRR Trading.
The consignee has been tagged in attempts to smuggle cigarettes from China that were busted by the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS).
Due to the successive seizures of previous shipments from GRR Trading, the container supposedly containing hotel supplies was subjected to X-ray inspection, which showed suspicious images.
Mendoza said he issued a pre-lodgement control order (PLCO) against the shipment on August 28.
On September 1, customs examiner Jay Oyao checked the shipment together with representatives of the CIIS, Enforcement and Security Service, X-Ray Inspection Project Team, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc. – Cebu Chapter.
Oyao discovered 694 bales of “ukay-ukay”, which the customs officials believed were to be sold in the local market.
“The 694 bales of ‘ukay-ukay’ will be subjected to condemnation proceedings and will be destroyed. We could not donate it to any government or private entity as ‘ukay-ukay’ is illegal,” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview.
On Friday, Mendoza issued a warrant of seizure and detention (WSD) against the shipment, saying the consignee violated Republic Act 4653 “prohibiting the importation of used clothing to safeguard the health of the people and maintain the dignity of the nation.”
“This latest seizure of the Port of Cebu is part of the bureau’s continuous campaign to curb smuggling and protect the country’s borders from the entry of prohibited articles of importation,” he said.
Meanwhile, the BOC’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) has lodged criminal charges against GRR Trading before the Department of Justice for the unlawful importation of various brands of cigarettes estimated to be worth PHP234.7 million.
The BOC-Cebu said the bureau’s Account Management Office has also revoked GRR Trading’s importer’s accreditation. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency