Customs seizes P9-M worth of cigarettes, fireworks

MANILA Customs authorities seized two 40-footer vans containing misdeclared items worth PHP8.98 million from China at the Port of Manila Monday.

Customs Commissioner Isidro LapeAa said the apprehended shipments loaded with cigarettes and fireworks arrived on different dates at the said port.

The cargo containing cigarettes arrived on Feb. 21 and consigned to Paragon Platinum International Trading Corporation with office located at unit 108, The Centennial Bldg., 375 Escolta St., Binondo, Manila.

Records filed by the importer disclosed the signing customs broker as Bernandine Miranda of 3034 Bagac St., Manuguit, Tondo, Manila.

Paragon's shipment was declared as brackets but BOC personnel found boxes of cigarettes worth PHP8.2 million.

"The hidden cigarettes were discovered by the initiative of the Office of the District Collector through profiling," LapeAa said in a statement.

On the other hand, the shipment of fireworks was alerted only on Feb. 27 and arrived last December 31, 2017. The consignee was identified as Power Buster Marketing with office address at Baria Compound, Paradahan 1, Tanza, Cavite.

"Upon inspection, we discovered boxes of fireworks instead of the declaration which is footwear," the BOC chief added.

BOC Legal Service Director Yasser Ismail Abbas recommended the issuance of alert order on the shipment.

The fireworks will be turned over to Philippine National Police- Firearms and Explosives Office for proper disposition while the cigarettes will be destroyed.

The shipments are now waiting for the issuance of warrant of seizure and detention while cases will be filed against the importers for violation of Section 1400 of RA 10863 or Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

"These apprehensions are results of the enhanced border protection of the ports and the continued suspension of the Green Lane," LapeAa said.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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