THE unrelenting anti-smuggling operation of the Bureau of Customs-10 (BOC-10) has resulted to the confiscation and destruction of P20.7 million worth of illegally imported cigarettes last Wednesday, September 9.
Among those seized bore the brand names Union, Bravo, Famous, Farstar, Septwolves, YS, San Marino, Cannon.
John Simon, BOC-10 district collector, said the contraband consisted of 2,150 reams or 188,824 of various brands.
The cigarettes entered the port of Ozamiz in Ozamiz City and Mindanao Container Terminal sub-port in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental on two occasions, on August 25, 2020 and Sept. 1, 2020, Simon said.
“We don’t want cigarettes that are illegal and are sold here in Northern Mindanao,” Simon said.
The confiscated cigarettes were destroyed through a shredding machine at the Greenleaf 88 non-hazardous waste disposal facility in Barangay Bayabas, this city.
Simon said the items were confiscated as the consignees failed to pay duties and taxes and in violation of Republic Act 10836 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
The BOC-10, however, has yet to identify the names of the consignees, but Simon said they will be facing charges once their identities are established.
Oliver Valiente, chief of the BOC-10’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, the contraband came from China and neighboring Asian countries that entered through the Zamboanga Peninsula.
According to the Department of Finance, consignees use a new smuggling scheme to sneak the illegal cigarettes into the country.
Citing a report from BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez III said P53 million-worth of cigarettes contained in two container vans that were recently confiscated in the port of Davao on July 12, 2020 came from Ningbo, China and was declared as tissue paper.
When the cargo reached its final destination in the port of Davao, Guerrero said “the containers of smuggled cigarettes were not included in its inward foreign manifest despite other customs documents proving the existence of the shipment.”