THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday filed before the Department of Justice a P15-million smuggling case against a trader and a licensed customs broker.
Charged were Blue Shadow Trading owner Rommel Marasigan and his broker Mel Banas for violation of the Tariffs and Customs Code of the Philippines and Republic Act 4653, banning the importation of used clothing to safeguard the health of the Filipinos and to maintain the dignity of the nation.
In a press conference, Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon said the case against the two respondents stemmed from their attempt to smuggle four 40-footer container vans of used clothing worth P15 million from Hong Kong at the Manila International Container Port on June 10, 2013 by not declaring the said used clothing shipment as notebooks and binders, tailor shop accessories and trolley bags to circumvent R.A. 4653.
However, alert MICP Customs Investigation and Intelligence Service operatives under Deputy Commissioner Danilo Lim discovered the suspicious shipment on June 11, 2013.
This prompted Lim to issue the corresponding Alert Order and its subsequent issuance of Warrant of Seizure and Detention.
“The filing of cases against Marasigan and Banas today manifests the BOC’s determination and commitment to safeguard the health and interest of the Filipino nation. We will not allow Filipinos’ health to be compromised by the illegal activities of irresponsible and profit driven traders and their cohorts in government,” Biazon said.
He made it clear the BOC will pursue the case against the two accused through the BOC’s Run-After-The-Smugglers under Deputy Commissioner for Revenue Collection and Monitoring Group Peter Manzano. PNA