THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday filed formal charges before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against a firm and several individuals for illegal importation of P13.7-million worth of sugar.
Charged were the Blue Chelsea Enterprises and many John Does and Jane Does for violation of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and the Sugar Regulatory Administration’s (SRA) rules and regulations.
Records show that the sugar shipments arrived on June 25, 2015 at the Manila International Container Port.
Alert orders were then issued by Deputy Commissioner Jessie Dellosa, Intelligence Group, against the shipments.
The shipments were declared to contain various general merchandise, including: vacuum flasks, chess boards, plastic kits, plastic tumblers, storage boxes, basketball sponges, plastic hairpins, jackets, paper cups, children’s bikes and other goods but were found to contain bags of refined sugar.
The importer lacked the appropriate import permit and clearance duly issued by the SRA.
The BOC recently deputized SRA and the Sugar Anti-Smuggling Office of the Sugar Alliance of the Philippines to strengthen the bureau’s efforts against sugar smuggling.
“We are relentless in our battle against [agricultural]smuggling. Customs will not yield to anyone or anything in this campaign against smuggling because we want to help local farmers and help the sugar industry to prosper,” Commissioner Alberto Lina said.