P8-million smuggled rice intercepted in Zamboanga

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THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) has intercepted a shipment of smuggled rice with an estimated value of P8 million in Margosatubig, Zamboanga del Sur.

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The BOC said the 200,000 kilograms or 4,000 sacks of rice  found on board MV Amensia were believed to have come from Sandakan, Malaysia, which is only 628 kilometers from Zamboanga del Sur or about 338.87 nautical miles.

“The rice, contained in about 4,000 50kg sacks (or about 200,000 kg),was on board MV Amnesia and had been in the process of being loaded into four, 10-wheeler trucks at the dock when these were nabbed by the BOC and police personnel,” the BOC said in a statement.

The BOC said the ship’s captain failed to present the necessary rice import permits from the National Food Authority (NFA) and just presented the crew list and coasting manifest.

“Upon further checking, the vessel’s captain, a certain Jade Jackaria, was unable to show any import permit from NFA  for the rice nor any import documents filed with the BOC,” said BOC spokesperson Charo Logarta.

Logarta said interception was made through the cooperation of the BOC, some troops from the Philippine Navy and the 53rd Infantry Batallion of the Philippine Army.

She said that “the rice is now on hold in the area”.

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