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P86 million in sugar declared as footwear rubber seized in Subic

An estimated P86 million worth of sugar that was declared as footwear rubber  used in the manufacturing of shoes and flip-flops was seized at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

According to Cedric Castillo's report on "24 Oras," operatives of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized the over 800,000 kilos of refined sugar last March 15.

“We’ve apprehended 15,648 bags of refined sugar... it came from Hong Kong. Estimated value namin is about P86 million... ‘Yung iba kasing nagsa-smuggle they pretend at least, no? Tinatago man lang sa likod or sa gitna ng container. But this one, when we opened, it’s really sugar,” said BOC Assistant Commissioner, Attorney Vincent Maronilla.

The shipment was brought in by a company that had been previously caught allegedly smuggling sugar, onions, and other agricultural products through the Manila International Container Port.

The said company's permits had already been suspended according to the BOC.

This is the third shipment of allegedly smuggled sugar intercepted at the port of Subic this month.

Two weeks ago, authorities seized 30,000 sacks of sugar that were declared as construction materials.

"Same modus kasi e. We are thinking these belong to the same syndicate or the same group," Maronilla added.

“Binibigyan na po natin ng sistema on how to dispose of that. We wrote already the secretary of the Department of Finance na kung pwede natin po itong mabenta sa ating pong mga kadiwa stores,” said DA Assisstant Secretary Rex Estoperez.

Meanwhile, the BOC was monitoring other companies that were allegedly illegally importing agricultural products into the country. — Sherylin Untalan/DVM, GMA Integrated News