MANILA, Philippines - Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials Friday announced the seizure of P31.8 million worth of misdeclared and undervalued goods at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) in Port Area, Manila.
Customs Commissioner Rufino Biazon disclosed that the seized cargo consisted of candies, outboard motors, motor oils, electric meters, and laboratory equipment used in making illegal drugs.
Biazon claimed that elements of the BOC enforcement group intercepted one of the shipments, worth P5.8 million, at the MICP after its importer, Scan Marine Inc., allegedly tried to pass the goods as outboard motor parts.
The other shipment was imported by Extreme Five Trading Corp. which allegedly tried to pass its 2,520 cartons of P1 million worth of candies as food additives.
Also seized was a shipment worth P4.4 million that was imported by Telsphere Int'l Trading which allegedly misdeclared 257 units of electric meters as vacuum heaters.
Meanwhile, the P20 million worth of laboratory equipment that can be used to manufacture drugs was loaded in two container vans that arrived from China, consisting of chip condensers, pumps, control panels, thermometers, fittings, boilers, reactors, gears and valves.
The Customs chief said that as a result of the incident, he instructed all BOC frontline officials to thoroughly scrutinize all importation documents for any sign of misdeclaration or undervaluation so that the appropriate taxes are collected by the government.
He added that although the BOC posted a high collection last year, the agency was assigned a higher collection target in 2012, hence the need for the bureau to intensify its anti-smuggling campaign.
"I have ordered our men to be more vigilant to ensure that no contraband and illegal drugs are smuggled into the country," he said.