A ship and a total of P215 million in smuggled goods were seized recently on different occasions by intelligence operatives of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) in the Port of Cagayan de Oro.
Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña on Wednesday disclosed that the confiscated goods were either prohibited or misdeclared importations or lacking in necessary import permits and other required documents.
He said the M/V Jake Vincent Seis was seized for alleged non-payment of import duties and taxes amounting to P35 million.
Lapeña added that investigation is ongoing to determine if the ship’s owner purposely evaded paying the corresponding import duties and taxes.
M/V Jake Vincent Seis was plying the BIMP-EAGA when its operations were only limited to domestic routes in the Philippines.
BIMP-EAGA refers to Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines-East Asian Growth Area.
Alvin Enciso, officer-in-charge of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-Cagayan de Oro, said the ship was filled with 1,450 metric tons of copra, when held by Customs operatives last September 8, adding that supporting documents were falsified to make it appear that its cargo came from Indonesia.
According to Enciso, the ship passed itself off as a general cargo vessel plying the BIMP-EAGA route but a verification with the Maritime Industry Authority revealed that its permit to operate in the area was fake.
Also seized by Enciso’s team were more than P5 million worth of used clothing from Japan.
Importation of ukay-ukay or used clothing is considered a health hazard and strictly prohibited under Republic Act 4653.
It was consigned to Kornet Express Inc.
In another operation, Customs agents also uncovered a 20-foot container of steel ethylene cylinders from China.
The shipment valued at P1.5 million was declared as aluminum ethylene cylinders and consigned to Linde Philippines (South) Inc.
Two used cargo trucks found dismantled inside two 40-foot containers were also seized.
The shipments, estimated to be worth P3 million, came from Japan and consigned to Ghulam Traders International Corp.
The Cagayan de Oro port also confiscated P5 million worth of red onions from China.
The cargo, which was consigned to Govgen Agri Products International, had no import permit from the Department of Agricuture.
Meanwhile, District Collector Jamail Marohomsalic reported that the Cagayan de Oro port was able to post a revenue surplus of P1,553,511,484 in their collection target covering January to August.
It collected P8,951,856,484 against its target collection of P7,398,345,000.