Alarmed over reports that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) is being used by some ill minded individuals for fraud, either through mail or the internet, Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon has warned the public not to entertain any notice, supposedly from the Bureau of Customs, about a package and a certain amount to be paid for the parcel to be delivered to the addressee, but to report them instead to the BOC for appropriate action.
In his recent inspection of the Bureau’s Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport where the processing of EMS postal packages are being done, Biazon said the Bureau of Customs never sends letters of notice about packages from abroad and duties to be paid to individuals as it is only the Postal Service Office (PSO) that sends out the notices.
“Our responsibility is only to assess the value and to collect payments for dutiable goods being sent through the country’s postal service. We do not send letters or notices to individuals about parcels from abroad and their corresponding duties to be paid,” Biazon said.
“Moreover, should there be payments for duties and taxes, its payee shall be the Bureau of Customs and not somebody else. I am really saddened that some individuals have lost thousands of pesos to this scam,” he added.
A lady from Cagayan De Oro City recently lost Php 22,100 to a foreigner con artist whom she met through the internet, befriended her and later promised to send her a package. Soon after, she got an email from her chat mate with an attachment of a letter, supposedly from the Philippine Bureau of Customs, informing her about the arrival of the package in the Philippines and the payment of its duties and taxes through Western Union. The poor unsuspecting Cagayan De Oro lass lost almost all her lifetime savings.
“Not all perpetrators of this scam are foreigners. There are also those involving the locals. This is the reason why we are now coordinating this problem with appropriate agencies such as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI),” the Commissioner stressed.
According to Biazon, the Bureau would soon launch an information campaign on this regard, if only to enlighten the public on the proper procedures of claiming cargoes and parcels from abroad.