P.5-B SMUGGLED RICE NADISKUBRE SA BULACAN WAREHOUSES

UMABOT sa mahigit kalahating bilyong pisong ha­laga (P505-M) ng smuggled imported rice ang nadiskubre ng Bureau of Customs (BOC) sa iba’t ibang mga warehouse sa lalawigan ng Bulacan noong Agosto 24, 2023.

Isang team na pinamunuan ni Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Director Verne Enciso, kasama ang CIIS-Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP) agents, at Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Task Force Aduana, ang nagsagawa ng inspeksyon sa natukoy na mga warehouse sa Intercity Industrial Complex sa San Juan, Balagtas, Bulacan, kung saan natuklasan na naglalaman ito ng 202,000 sacks ng imported rice grains mula sa Vietnam, Cambodia at Thailand.

Ang public viewing ng subject sacks ng imported rice ay dinaluhan nina Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez at Representatives Erwin Tulfo, Wilfrido Mark Enverga at Ambrosio Cruz, Jr.

Ang visitorial and inspection authority ng Bureau of Customs ay naaayon sa Chapter 2, Section 224 ng Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

“I have ordered the owners of these warehouses to present the necessary documents that will support its rice importation, as well as the amount of rice they have been keeping in these warehouses,” ani Rubio.

“Smuggling agricultural products, in particular rice which is the staple food in every Filipino home, poses a grave threat to our economy. It creates a ripple effect that impacts the core of our agricultural sector—our farmers,” dagdag pa niya.

Si Intelligence Group Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy ay binigyang-diin na ang BOC ay nakipag-ugna­yan sa Philippine National Police (PNP) sa Balagtas, pati na rin sa personnel mula Barangay San Juan, para sa implementasyon ng Letters of Authority (LOA) na nilagdaan ni Commissioner Rubio.

“Only after the LOA were acknowledged by the warehouse representatives did the team proceed to inspect the storage, where they found hundreds of thousands of sacks of rice grain we suspect to be lacking the necessary importation documents,” banggit pa niya.

Habang ipinaliwanag naman ni CIIS Director Verne Enciso na, “As with our protocol, the team padlocked and sealed the warehouse temporarily and proceeded with the inventory of the subject sacks of imported rice”.

Ang nakatalagang Customs examiners ay nagsagawa ng kanilang inventory sa nasabing mga kalakal.

Ito ay sinaksihan ng mga ahente mula sa CIIS, PCG, Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), gayundin ng warehouse representatives.

(JOEL O. AMONGO)

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