The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Monday filed five criminal cases against importers and customs brokers who were supposedly involved in smuggled shipments cumulatively valued at more than P20 million.
Among those charged are officers of Malaya Multi-Purpose Cooperative for large-scale agricultural smuggling of four containers of onions worth P2.5 million.
“Their importation consisted of four containers of onions which were concealed among cartons of apples and pears,” the BOC said in a statement.
“Charged with large-scale agricultural smuggling are the officers of Malaya Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Oscar G. Catacutan, Mario Briones, Eddie Lalu, Randy Turla, and Alfredo Guevarra, and the customs broker Mary Faith Duran Miro for misdeclaring P2.5 million worth of onions, apples and pears,” the bureau noted.
A separate case was filed against Stanley Tan for supposedly importing P9.4-million of counterfeit cigarettes and assorted beauty products.
Another case was filed against Samuel Alvarado, a major stockholder and president of Pherica International Corporation, and customs broker Nazario Maglanque for smuggling of plush toys.
“The said importation, estimated at half a million, was made without the required import permit from the Food and Drug Administration ...” the BOC said.
The BOC likewise filed a case against IT Malingco owner Tayuan Malingco and customs broker Erlinda Dumalaog for importing foodstuff, air fresheners, shampoo, and other commodities without the appropriate permits.
“The shipments with an estimated value of P6.5 million had been destroyed last September 14 at Tritek Reverse Logistics, an accredited condemnation facility located in San Pedro, Laguna,” it said.
Another case was filed against Power Buster Marketing owner Marnie Seguiran for importing P1.6 million worth of fireworks and firecrackers that were misdeclared as footwear.
“We will be relentless in our efforts to apprehend smugglers and their cohorts,” Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said.
“We will not stop. There will be no holy cows in this area. All those found guilty of violating the customs laws should be in jail,” he said. —Jon Viktor Cabuenas/VDS, GMA News