Bureau of Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales and Intelligence Group Deputy Commissioner Jairus Paguntalan today inspect P51.1 million worth of onions and other agricultural products as they made the rounds of the Port of Manila , Manila International Container Port, Security Warehouse 159, and a private warehouse in Valenzuela City .
Following orders from Morales to crack down on smuggled agricultural products, CIIS operatives at the Port of Manila apprehended three forty-footer containers of onions and another forty-footer containing Peking duck which were misdeclared as flavoring materials and grocery items. The haul was estimated to be worth P13.8 million.
Also inspected were 667 bags of onions which originally came from Tondo, Manila and 816 bags of onions from different stalls in Divisoria which were transferred to Security Warehouse 159. Also stored in 159 were 1,304 bags of red onions, 1,507 bags of white onions, and 509 bags of ginger worth P2.45 million which were transferred from Warehouses 1103, 1104, 1106, 1108, and 1110 in Binondo.
At the Manila International Container Port, joint operations of the Risk Management Group and CIIS foiled the illegal entry of 14 containers of P22.25 million worth of meat and agricultural products which include onions, ginger, and potatoes. The shipments were misdeclared as cakes, pastries, seasoning and condiments.
The customs men also proceeded to a warehouse of Global Export Box Manufacturing Inc in Valenzuela City to oversee the inventory of the contents of three forty-footer containers of onions worth P6.1 million which were seized by CIIS operatives a few weeks back. The shipment was misdeclared by the consignee Rickman Trading as support mattresses and gift items.
According to CIIS Director Filomeno Vicencio Jr., the CIIS has recommended to the POM and MICP District Collectors for the issuance of warrants of seizure and detention against all the apprehended shipments. Intelligence Chief Fernandino Tuazon said that the bureau will coordinate with the Department of Agriculture for the proper disposal of the goods after the formal seizure proceedings are finished.
Commissioner Morales expressed that "these are part of the continuous campaign of the Bureau against smuggling of agricultural products." Morales reassures the local growers that there will be "no let up on the crack down on smuggling."