THE port of Davao of the Bureau of Customs has vowed to strengthen border security and intensify intelligence gathering after it confiscated about P179.45 million in smuggled cigarettes, including those seized in the sub-ports, during the first eight months of the year.
In a statement yesterday, Customs Collector Erastus Sandino Austria said the volume of smuggled cigarettes seized was due to the stronger border protection and the intensified intelligence gathering and inspection.
Austria said that the agency will push for continued intensification of its campaign as it has also filed cases against those who were behind these illegal activities.
“Customs Davao will continue to strengthen its anti-smuggling efforts and its border security protocols by deploying more mobile X-ray Machines at its various ports of entries and by continuously strengthening its partnership with other agencies,” he said.
Based on the report, of the haul, four seizures were from the Davao port, four at its Dadiangas sub-port in General Santos City and another four in the sub-port of Polloc in Parang, Maguindanao.
In July, the agency reported that the port of Davao seized about P107.4 million in smuggled cigarettes.
The agency said the contraband was from Ningao, China and arrived in four containers, the first two of those arrived on July 10, while the remainder arrived two days later.
The other cargo, also two containers, arrived two days later and was also declared as containing the same kind of product.
The agency reported its investigators found out that the supposed consignee denied it was waiting for the shipment, prompting them to suspect the cargo, which was not declared as cigarettes, was misdeclared.
When they inspected it, the investigators found out that the containers were containing cigarettes as the agency said those behind the smuggling activities tried to “outsmart the system by not declaring the shipment’s details in the e-manifest – a system by which BOC determine the cargo’s details and its intended port of destination.”