Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Isidro Lapeña on Monday inspected the warehouses in Bulacan where most of the illegally withdrawn 105 containers at the Asian Terminal Inc. (ATI) container yard were recovered.
In a press release, it was noted that 32 containers were found inside a warehouse located at the Sterling Industrial Park in Libtong, Meycauayan, Bulacan.
These containers were the subject of the standing alert order issued by Lapeña.
“The BOC raiding team together with Local Government Unit of Brgy. Libtong and PNP Meycauayan found a warehouse full of crates of tiles and several logbooks with dates of arrival of containers and their container numbers," Lapeña said.
Twenty of the 32 recovered containers belong to Premiere Oak Lumber and Wood Products while 12 others belong to Abundancegain Indent Trading Corp.
In a separate warehouse in the area, the BOC also found numerous crates of tiles that are similar to those discovered on the first warehouse. The two warehouses are reportedly owned by the Homms Trading Corporation.
“No logbook was found by the agents. However, these tiles could be part of the goods contained in the illegally withdrawn containers due to its similarity in the tiles found at the first warehouse,” Lapeña explained.
Out of more than 100 containers, the BOC said 85 have been located while they are still in search of 20 other containers.
Lapeña has revoked the accreditation of several importers and brokers involved in the controversy. Possible legal actions are also being studied.
Following this incident, some BOC employees have been recommended for preventive suspension.
“I think this incident has been going on for quite some time and this is not the first time that they have done this. This is a well-entrenched syndicate and I am determined to dismantle and totally stop them,” the BOC chief said. — BAP, GMA News