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BOC seizes P17M worth of smuggled yellow onions from China

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday said it seized at least P17 million worth of smuggled yellow onions found inside the three containers declared to have clothing and home products from China.

The BOC said the sacks of onions were found in between sacks of used clothings, also known as “ukay-ukay” with an estimated worth of P2 million.

The agency said the shipment was originally declared to contain plastic buckets, ladies’ blouses, ladies’ slippers, dish plates, and cat litter.

The containers were subjected to a thorough physical examination last December 23.

Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz lamented that many business owners paid the right fees to bring products legally into the country, while groups brought in millions worth of smuggled products without going to proper legal process.

“The bureau has, so far, examined, detained, and seized hundreds of millions worth of shipments that contain agricultural products this month alone. If they think they can use the ukay-ukay to hide the onions, they are mistaken,” Ruiz said in a statement.

“We swore to protect the country’s borders from this kind of illegal activities. But much more than that, we are also trying to protect our people, many of whom are deeply affected—and have been crying out—against the prices of the most basic of our food products,” he added.

Ruiz thanked the operation team for their commitment amid the agency’s intensified campaign against the smuggling of agricultural products, particularly onions. — Richa Noriega/RSJ, GMA Integrated News