Misdeclared Chemicals and Laboratory Equipment Seized

Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Ruffy Biazon’s stepped up drive against smuggling has yet again, hit smugglers where it hurts the most, their deep pockets.

“The only way to stop smuggling is to make it an unprofitable business, even as we shall also pursue to get convictions in court for those charged with it,” Biazon said, adding that, “With our determined and unrelenting anti-smuggling operations, smugglers’ resources will eventually dry up. Perhaps, when this happens, they will now resort to legal means to earn a living.”

Biazon today presented to media, at least, Php37.5 million worth of chemicals and laboratory equipment that were stacked in six (6) 20 footer container vans and seized by BOC Intelligence operatives for violation of certain provisions of the Tariffs and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP) and the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1992.

According to Biazon, W.A. Bitancor Enterprises, a Binondo based trading company, tried to bring into the country, three 20-footer container vans of sulfuric acid, butyl acetate and caustic soda worth Php26 million from Taiwan through the Port of Manila last December 2, 2011 without the necessary PDEA clearance.

On December 4, 2011, another 20-footer container van of laboratory equipment and lap top computers worth Php2.6 million, but declared as kitchen wares, arrived at the POM from Taiwan for W.A. Bitancor Ent. And during the same period, two (2) more 20-footer container vans of misdeclared plastic products, glass bottles, massage apparatus and parts, of still undetermined amount, arrived at POM with W.A. Bitancor Enterprises also, for its consignee.

“I am glad that the enhanced intelligence operations of the BOC’s Intelligence Group under Deputy Commissioner Lim are getting results,” Biazon said.

For his part, Lim said the Intelligence Group shall vigorously pursue for an enhanced intelligence network for the Bureau this year and work on tightening coordination and cooperation with other intelligence groups.

“We have tightened our ranks in the BOC Intelligence Group to maximize our intelligence gathering capabilities,” Lim said, even as he explained that the recent seizure of W. A, Bitancor’s shipment was the result of the IG-POM group’s efforts under Bienvenido Rubio.

Rubio is the POM Chief of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS). His group, prior to the W.A. Bitancor shipment seizure, has caused the confiscation of several container loads of illegally imported goods during the last quarter of 2011 and the early part of January 2012. Assisted by Intelligence Officer Troy Tan, Rubio is also being supported by his eight active and brilliant Intelligence Officers (IOs).

“POM is one of the Bureau’s biggest ports in terms of the number of entries and revenue collection. But, perhaps, it is also the port where most attempts to smuggle goods into the country takes place. The recent seizures of illegally imported goods because of the POM Intelligence Group’s efforts are results of the IG-POM’s commitment to the “No Sacred Cow” policy of the Bureau of Customs in general, and the Intelligence Group, in particular,” Lim pointed out.

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