The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-RATS Program in its all-out war on smuggling has once again caused the filing of criminal complaints before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against a trader and two (2) customs brokers for the unlawful importation of milk and cooking oil valued at 12 million and 9 million, respectively.
Slapped with complaints for smuggling areÂ MARI TONI N. ZAPANTA, proprietress ofÂ ZINOT ENTERPRISES and her two brokers ZIFRED P. DUTERTE and MARICHU V. YANG.
Zapanta and Duterte brought into the country 10×20 container vans of smuggled milk without the necessary License to Operate as Distributor/Importer from the Food and Drug Administration. Same violation was committed by Yang in connivance with Zapanta when they unlawfully imported 5×20 container vans of cooking oil. Both the shipments of milk and cooking oil arrived at the Port of Cebu from Malaysia.
Zapanta, Duterte and Yang are charged for violation of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, as amended andR.A. 3720, as amended by R.A. No. 9711 also known as the â€œFood and Drug Administration (FDA) Act of 2009.
In response, Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner RufinoBiazon ordered port personnel to be keen on the importations of food products. Lack of necessary permits and licenses of imported food products pose great danger to public health.
“On the part of the BOC, we only process imports of milk and cooking oil accompanied by a Certificate of Product Registration issued by the Food and Drug Administration. Without it, the products cannot be imported,” he said.
In the apprehension of the aforementioned smuggled milk and cooking oil, Commissioner Biazon said thatÂ the Bureau of Customs would like to send a clear message to all smugglers that their days are numbered and that the Philippines is not the place for their business.
Deputy Commissioner Peter M. Manzano, on the other hand, said, to date, the RATS Group has filed a total of44cases under the watch of Commissioner Biazon.
“The RATS Group has lived up to itsmandate, to curb smuggling activities through continuous case profiling/building and active prosecution of smuggling cases. Having in mind the leadership of the Honorable Commissioner in accordance with the directive of His Excellency, President Benigno S. Aquino, rest assured that the RATS Group will relentlessly and continuously combat smuggling in all forms, in all ports and at all costs,” Manzano ended.