Customs files smuggling raps vs 9 traders, brokers

Paterno Esmaquel II
Filing of charges comes 3 days after President Aquino himself dared bad eggs at the Customs Bureau to mend their ways

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday, February 9, formally charged 9 persons for allegedly smuggling over P21.64-M worth of motor vehicles, industrial and household goods, gun parts, accessories, and bullets into the Philippines.

At the Department of Justice (DOJ), the BOC charged owners and brokers of LA Miranda Transport Services, Junta Trading, D’ Golden House Trading Company, and a certain Renato Ramos for allegedly violating Sections 3601 and 2503 of the Tariffs and Customs Code of the Philippines and the country’s Comprehensive Industry Policy and Directions for the Motor Development Program.

“These apprehensions are results of the bureau’s enhanced intelligence and enforcement capabilities,” said BOC Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon who led the filing of charges.

In a press conference, Biazon noted that the BOC has tightened its intelligence and enforcement network to put an end to smuggling.

“I would like, therefore, to send this warning to ill-minded businessmen who deal with Customs, to think twice before they even plan of getting goods into the country illegally,” he said.

BOC’s ‘bad eggs’

Smuggling activities prosper, however, sometimes with the collusion of BOC officials, which President Benigno Aquino III himself acknowledged earlier this week.

During the agency’s 110th anniversary on Monday, February 6, Aquino said dire consequences await those who stray from the right path (“tuwid na daan”) while incentives are in store for those who help improve the government.

Subukan po ninyo ako, magkakaalaman tayo kung sino po ang mas desididong matupad ang kanilang ambisyon,” the President said. (Try me, and we will see who is more resolved in achieving his goals.)

Following the filing of smuggling charges at the DOJ, Biazon said the BOC is ready to punish the bad eggs in the agency. He said heads will roll only “after due process.” – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.