FACT SHEET / 7Â JULY 2011
OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER
BUREAU OF CUSTOMS
SUBJECT: CUSTOMS PROBE ON MISSING CONTAINERS: DID BATANGAS PORT RECEIVE CARGOES?
1.Â Â Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez said the on-going investigation on the matter of some 600 missing containers that were allegedly transshipped from Manila to the Port of Batangas centered on whether the unaccounted cargoes were actually received by responsible Batangas customs officials.
2. Â Alvarez said the inquiry which he ordered conducted as early as mid-May this year had produced â€œvoluminous records and supporting documentsÂ submitted by the concerned parties that are now being evaluated by the agencyâ€™s Investigation Division headed by Dino Tuazon.â€
3. Â The customs chief disclosed that in the process of conducting audits on selected transactions, he discovered discrepancies in transshipment records of containerized importations destined for Batangas Port.
4. Â He said his attention was caught by an alarming number of containers that, based on records, were transshipped by their importers and brokers to the Port of Batangas but which had no matching consumption entry declarations nor documented proof of payment of duties and taxes entered into the records of the receiving port.
5. Â Alvarez said the derogatory information prompted him to instruct Batangas District Collector Juan Tan on May 19 to submit a detailed report on the transshipments made by LCN TRADING, SEA EAGLE TRADING AND MONCELIAN ENTERPRISE from the POM and MICP to the Port of Batangas between January and May this year.
6. Â He said Tan complied with a report dated May 31 indicating that only 305 of the alleged 900 or so containers were actually received by, and entered into the records of the Port of Batangas.
7. Â POM and MICP officials, however, have submitted boatnotes and other documents that they claimed could prove receipt of the missing containers by Port of Batangas employees.
8. Â Alvarez said the main piece of the puzzle as far as the Investigation Division was concerned was whether the 600 missing containers destined for the Port of Batangas actually got there and if not, what happened to them.
9. Â But another angle being looked into by BOC internal investigators, said Alvarez, was the possibility raised by Tan that import entries for the allegedly missing containers were actually filed at the POM and MICP and that the importers actually paid the correct duties and taxes.
10.Â Alvarez said smuggling cases would be filed against LCN TRADING, SEA EAGLE TRADING AND MONCELIAN ENTERPRISE, their brokers and cohorts in the Bureau if it would be established that indeed, those containers actually disappeared from the customs system and thatÂ government, as a result, lost millions of pesos in unpaid duties and taxes.
11.Â He instructed Tuazon to wrap up the investigation and come up with actionable recommendations by the end of this month.