(Eagle News)–Misdeclared cigarettes worth over P32 million were intercepted at a Manila port recently, the Bureau of Customs said.
According to the BOC, the shipment of 1092 cigarettes estimated at P32.7 million was intercepted by Enforcement and Security Service personnel at the Manila International Container Port on July 2.
This was after receiving information it had not undergone the proper examination, the bureau said.
The shipment had been declared as non-woven bags instead.
According to the bureau, three people who identified themselves as officials of the Customs Brokers Group attempted to negotiate for the release of the container, questioning the authority to inspect the containers.
But Customs personnel reiterated the inspection that was covered by a memorandum signed by the Customs Commissioner last April 27.
The memo reiterated the need for the inspection of imported shipments during the public health emergency.
“Considering this incident, the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) – MICP will issue appropriate subpoena against the responsible officers of the consignee, its nominated brokers, and other accessories, to provide necessary information relative to the subject shipment,” the bureau said.
Under Republic Act 10863 or “The Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA)”, any act of fraudulently importing or assisting in so doing, contrary to law, or of receiving, concealing, buying, selling or in any manner facilitating the concealment of such goods, and the act of misdeclaration as to quality and description of the goods are punishable by law.
“As the nation gears to embrace the new normal in relation to day-to-day activities, the BOC will remain committed to curb illegal imports and exports and eradicate graft and corruption opportunities,” the bureau said.