The goods entered Mindanao through several shipments from China and Vietnam consigned to EC Peninsula and New Dawn Enterprises. Both consignees have been charged previous smuggling raps by the Bureau before the Department of Justice for the alleged illegal importation of glutinous rice (malagkit) worth around P80-million just last month.
According to Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Jessie Dellosa, 78 container vans which were declared as various kitchenware, houseware, tiles and mix condiments were inspected and found out to be containing various agricultural products like rice, sugar, garlic, carrots, and potatoes.
The container vans were inventoried and examined by an interagency team of the BOC and Department of Agriculture (DA) headed by Dellosa together with the BOC’s Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Cagayan de Oro.Also present to witness the examination were representatives of the DA, the Bureau of Plant Industries, and the Sugar and Regulatory Administration.
“We put the containers on alert status because of the general declarations of kitchenware, houseware, tiles and mix condiments. Already those were red flags for us as they are often used. Though outright misdeclaration is one of the most common forms of concealment, apprehending goods smuggled this way still tests our mettle in intelligence, profiling, risk management, and interagency teamwork,” explained Dellosa.
For his part, Commissioner John P. Sevilla said that he ordered his men to intensify their efforts towards curbing smuggling in Mindanao ports. “We have stepped up our intelligence operations down south to combat unscrupulous importers who always look for points of entry. Our aim is to stop them at every port,” Sevilla said.