Bureau of Customs to auction smuggled sugar

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY  (July 24) – The Bureau of Customs (BoC) will ask the assistance of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) in the auction of smuggled sugar it intercepted at the Mindanao International Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

During the opening of the container vans last week, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said that the smuggled sugar was from Thailand and South Korea.

Lapeña said that the sugar intercepted at the port was consigned to JDan Trading, represented by its owner Asrafani Riga who tried to smuggled 2,167 bags of sugar in two container vans that was declared as pre-fabricated steel.

It is valued at P4,891,990.32 with aggregate duties and taxes due to the government at PhP4,152, 865.00.

Four  other containers of sugar, misdeclared as boiler casings, were also opened by the BoC.   The shipment was consigned to General Success Merchandise, owner Sherbet S. Alazas

 The shipment contained 2,316 bag of sugar with a value of P4,498,852.74, with aggregate duties and taxes due to the government in the amount of P3,821,439.00.

Another shipment owned by Mave Trading with its owner, Meljane B. Mejos, imported five container vans of onions and two container vans of used clothing.

The total dutiable value of Mave Trading shipments amounts to P1,604,577.50 with aggregate duties and taxes due to government in the amount of P809,579.00.

Riga, Alaza  and Mejos were charged by the BOC.  All three consignees were allegedly assisted by licensed Customs Broker Raul M. De Leon, Jr. in their scheme to defraud the government.

Lapeña has warned that the Bureau under his leadership would be filing more criminal cases against these smugglers as the Bureau continues its intensified drive to eradicate all forms of smuggling activities in the country.

The two of the consignees, namely, Mave Trading and General Success Merchandise, were involved in the “Swing Operation” and “Release and File Entry Later” scheme, which was recently discovered and thwarted at the Sub-Port of Tagoloan.

Under the “Swing Operation” scheme, shipments are released from Customs custody thru the use of a Pre-Assessment BOC-SAD print out from the Value-Added Service Provider (VASP) with bogus stamp of “SUBJECT FOR X-RAY” or “FOR TRANSFER TO MICT-CCA”, then spirited out from the Port without passing through MICT-CCA and without the required gate pass issued by Cargo Control Section.

In this method, the release of the shipments is without the corresponding import entry being filed.  Thus,  there is no payment of duties and taxes.

Ron Manjares, who represented the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) during the opening of the containers said that this is not the first time that sugar was smuggled into MICT.-Lance Baconguis/NewsLine.ph

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