BOC intercepts 28 lizards in ‘toys’ parcels

The Bureau of Customs-Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (BOC-NAIA) on Wednesday reported the seizure of two parcels containing 28 lizards worth PHP210,000 in Pasay City.

District Collector Carmelita Talusan, in a statement, said the parcels containing 22 bearded dragons and six Argentine black and white lizards from Samutprakarn, Thailand, were discovered at the BOC-NAIA Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC) last December.

The parcels declared as children’s toys were shipped by a certain ‘Anuphop Wilit’ and were addressed to certain individuals in Parañaque City.

The parcels were subjected to x-ray and 100 percent physical examination which led to the discovery of live animals.

The shipments were subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 1113 of Republic Act (RA) 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act in relation to Section 117 and RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

She added that the seized lizards were immediately turned over to the Wildlife Monitoring Unit of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for proper handling and safekeeping pursuant to Customs Administrative Order No. 10-2020.

The operation was conducted in coordination with the Enforcement and Security Service-Environmental Compliance and Protection Division (ESS-EPCD).

The BOC and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have a strong collaboration against wildlife smuggling.

Meanwhile, the BOC, through its Account Management Office (AMO) over 16,000 regular importers and non-regular importers have been accredited last year.

For 2021, 16,053 regular importers and 483 non-regular importers were actively accredited while 2,345 licensed customs brokers were accredited to transact with the bureau,

The AMO also reported on efforts to physically inspect facilities and offices of aspiring importers to ensure the legitimacy of their application and avoid dummy accounts that may be used for smuggling and illegal activities.

A total of 1,168 sites or offices were inspected, 279 of which were found to be non-existent which led to the denial of their application.

At the same time, it reported that 690 importers and 220 customs brokers were revoked of their accreditation as they were found to have violated the provisions of RA 10863 also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

The revocation is part of the office’s continuous monitoring and post-evaluation of importers and brokers.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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