By GERRY LEE GORIT, MDNN Reporter
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – After confiscating around P6 million worth of imported red onions from China, the Bureau of Customs in Cagayan de Oro has once again seized another batch of agricultural product in a warehouse in Barangay Puntod recently.
Oliver Valiente, head of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service or CIIS, said the raid yielded about P5 million worth of red onions believed also coming from China.
The raid was carried out on October 22 based on the letter of authority issued by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
The letter of authority has the same power as the search warrant and it can be implemented anywhere in the country.
Valiente said they can invoke the letter of authority in the conduct of raids in stores and warehouses to make sure that proper taxes are paid in the import of products.
Houses are outside the jurisdiction of the letter of authority.
With the CIIS were personnel from the Phil. Coast Guard, Phil. National Police, and village officials.
Also found at the warehouse were sacks of garlic, mung beans, and carrots.
The agricultural products shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture proceedings under Section 224 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act if the necessary import documents are not presented within 15 days.
He added the Department of Agriculture has verified that it has not issued an importation permit for the red onions, hence, it’s considered to be smuggled goods and will be recommended for the issuance of a warrant of seizure and detention.
For her part, District Collector Atty. Elvira Cruz vowed to continue vigilance against smuggled products within its area of responsibility and send a strong signal to smugglers to stop their illicit activities.