The Bureau of Customs–Port of Davao has warned traders against using the ports under its jurisdiction for their illegal activities following the seizure of more than 1,000 boxes of smuggled cigarettes in General Santos City on June 3.
The office has confiscated a total of 1,324 boxes of President brand cigarettes from Vietnam which amounted to a total of P24.8 million.
Port of Davao district collector Erastus Sandino Austria said the customs will never allow any form of illicit trade in his district. It can be noted that the sub-port of Dadiangas (General Santos) is among the three subports under the jurisdiction of BOC-Davao.
“The seizure of this illegal importation of cigarettes from Vietnam should serve as a warning to importers and traders that with our strengthened cooperation with international intelligence and anti-crime organizations, we will be a step ahead of whatever their fugitive plans are,” he said.
The seizure was done through the cooperation of BOC’s Intelligence Group and Enforcement Group, in coordination with Interpol.
“Triggered by advance information from the intelligence sources at the shipment’s port of origin, prompting the subsequent issuance of an alert order to the Vengeur International Trading’s importation, the misdeclaration was confirmed during the June 3,2020 100% physical inspection of the 40-footer container van at the Philippine Ports of Authority (PPA) container Yard 2,” the BOC-Davao statement said.
Meanwhile, BOC sub-port of Dadiangas collector Elenita Abano said that there were only a total of 1,100 pieces of corrugated boxes from the 25,000 brand new boxes declared for the shipment. There were also another 1,325 misdeclared boxes of the cigarette brand inside the container.
Abano said that the shipment did not only violate the Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 8-2007 or the “Description of Imported Articles in Tariff Terms” under the Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 28-2007 (Goods Declared in General Manner to Avoid Proper Classification and Valuation), but it also violated the Section 117 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
Atty. Austria already issued a warrant of seizure and detention on Venguer International Trading shipment, including the filing of appropriate charges to those involved in the smuggling of the cigarettes, as well as the suspension, “if not cancellation of the BOC accreditation of Venguer International Trading as the importer/consignee of the confiscated shipment.”
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