Around P13-million worth of illegally imported sugar were seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) on Tuesday.
According to Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina, the 270,000 kilos of Thailand produced refined sugar stored in eight 40-foot container vans were misdeclared as school bags, school supplies, toys, among others.
The shipments consigned to Real Top Enterprises from Binondo, Manila, arrived at the MICP from Hong Kong in May.
The illegal cargoes were discovered after Task Force Pantalan, a group created to eradicate port congestion, intercepted a trailer truck containing a 40-foot container van of smuggled sugar consigned to the same company last month.
The said seizure alerted Customs officials to check on the consignee’s other shipments at the MICP.
With this, the Enforcement Group issued Alert Orders on May 20 for a spot-checking on the container vans.
“A spot check examination on the shipments showed that contrary to its declared content as reflected in the Cargo Foreign Manifest and Bill of Lading, the container vans each contained hundreds of sacks of refined sugar,” Lina said.
He added, “The shipments were also undocumented as no import entry declaration were filed by the consignee. Also upon further investigation we found out that the address given by Real Top Enterprises was fictitious.”
Besides seizure and forfeiture proceedings on the sugar, the BOC will also conduct further investigation to determine culpability for smuggling of the Real Top Enterprises owners and customs brokers.