CUSTOMS authorities seized over the weekend 80,000 bags or 4,000 metric tons of smuggled imported sugar from Thailand worth at least P240 million.
An operations report submitted to the office of Commissioner Felimon Yogi Ruis showed that the sugar shipment was consigned to Stone Int’l. Co. Ltd. The cargo manifest identified the shipper as The Thai Sugar Trading Corp.
The contraband was intercepted by a composite team of Customs Police Division-Enforcement and Security Service and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service personnel with the assistance of the Philippine Coast Guard in the vicinity of Bauan and Mabini breakwaters in Batangas.
The vessel arrived at around 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 12.
“We are appalled at the audacity of these groups to continue with their activities despite the BoC’s intensified efforts lately to apprehend them. But thankfully, our team is just as relentless and tenacious to, once and for all, end such reprehensible acts,” Ruiz said.
The operation was launched following intelligence information that vessel VOI MV Sunward was carrying the sugar without filing the required Notice of Arrival with the Bureau of Customs.
Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Juvymax Uy said the operation to foil the smuggling attempt was very critical because sugar is one of the highly in-demand goods among Filipinos.
“We are well-aware that there is a buzz surrounding our operations lately because of the high prices of sugar, onions and many others in the market. The initiatives of our field agents enable us to work together, but more importantly, it shows also our desire to not only follow the directive of our President (Marcos Jr.), but to work for the good of our people and protect them from this economic sabotage,” he added,
The Port of Batangas issued the corresponding Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the vessel and sugar shipment.
Prior to said operation, customs intelligence operatives at the Manila International Container Port also seized P153 million worth of smuggled fresh onions from China.
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