The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Monday reported that over 20 criminal cases have been filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) for violation of Customs and other laws since January 2022.
In a statement, the bureau said a total of 22 criminal complaints were filed against 65 importers before the DOJ while administrative charges were filed against six licensed customs brokers before the Professional Regulation Commission.
The most recent cases that have been filed involved two importers and licensed customs brokers, who were not identified, for the importation of alleged smuggled cigarettes and assorted goods amounting to over PHP32.2 million.
The Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS), Port of Cagayan de Oro, and Port of Subic, filed the cases against UHE Trading and Jack Electronic Metal Inc. for alleged misdeclaration.
The case against UHE Trading was due to the alleged misdeclaration and unlawful importation of 950 cartons of cigarettes worth PHP32.2 million from China on Jan. 18, 2022 at the Port of Cagayan de Oro.
The company is said to have violated pertinent provisions of the Republic Act 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA); Customs Memorandum Order No. 20-2006; RA 10963, otherwise known as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law; National Tobacco Administration (NTA) 079-2005; and NTA Memorandum Circular No. 03, s. 2004.
As for the case against Jack Electronic Metal Inc. and its licensed customs broker, both were involved for the alleged misdeclaration and unlawful importation of assorted goods without the necessary import permit.
The shipment, valued at PHP78,692.92, came from the United States of America and arrived at the Port of Subic on Sept. 27, 2021.
The respondents purportedly violated the CMTA; RA 6969, otherwise known as the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act of 1990; DENR Administrative Order 2013-22; and the Revised Penal Code, as amended.
Source: Philippines News Agency