CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Imported cigarettes from China valued at P40 million were apprehended by the Bureau of Customs-10 (BOC-10) on Sept. 17, the agency said Tuesday.
The contraband arrived at the Mindanao Container Terminal, a sub-port under the jurisdiction of BOC-10, in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, said Cris Angelo Andrade, the bureau’s regional information officer.
Andrade said the cargo has no import papers and other documents, prompting the Customs to declare it as a “pre-lodged shipment.”
Prior to the contraband’s arrival, the BOC-10 district office has already been alerted of the shipment by the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), Andrade said.
Upon arrival at the MCT, the shipment was immediately issued with pre-lodgement control order, he added.
The BOC-10 then put out an alert order against the shipment for violation of National Tobacco Administration (NTA) memorandum circular no. 3 series of 2004 and NTA board resolution no. 079-2005 in relation to section 1113 (f) and section 1400 (misdeclaration) of Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
Oliver Valiente, the Customs’ CIIS field station chief, said the illegal shipment was alerted to them through “Project Crocodile.”
Project Crocodile is an information-sharing scheme between customs administration of member-countries notifying each other if there are movements of suspicious cigarette shipments.
The information provided to the CIIS was relayed through a global database operated jointly by countries involved in international anti-smuggling campaign.
In his statement, John Simon, BOC-10 district collector, has reiterated his support in the Bureau’s drive to combat smuggling in the country as he commended the vigilance and dedication to duty of the personnel instrumental in the said apprehension.
“The Port of Cagayan de Oro will remain steadfast in its mandate to protect the country’s borders by preventing the entry of smuggled goods,” Simon said.
Early this month, BOC-10 led the destruction through shredding of 2,150 reams of cigarettes from China and other countries.
In a previous interview, Simon said the condemned items were apprehended when the consignees failed to pay duties and taxes in violation of RA 10836.