Cagayan de Oro customs port seizes P18M smuggled agri goods

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) said on Monday that the BOC Port of Cagayan de Oro (BOC-CDO) seized six containers of smuggled red and white onions at the Mindanao Container Terminal Port, Misamis Oriental, last July 28, in an anti-smuggling operation conducted with the Bureau of Plant Industry and Customs examiners.

The shipments, which were declared as “Soft Tortilla Wrap”, arrived from China on 23 July and were consigned to Primex Export and Import Producer.
Upon receiving information about the mislabeled shipments, BOC-CDO District Collector Elvira Cruz immediately issued control orders on the six containers, subjecting them to a 100-percent physical examination. According to the bureau, three containers of smuggled onions had already been seized earlier, on July 22.

Cruz reiterated the BOC’s warning against unscrupulous importers, noting that agricultural smuggling is harmful to locally produced agricultural products since they cannot compete with illegally imported agricultural goods. Bureau of Plant Industry supervising agriculturist Manuel Barradas added that these products also pose health hazards to consumers since the preservatives or chemicals used on them are unknown, and they may also bring pests and diseases that could infect other crops in Mindanao and the rest of the country.

The only options for disposing of seized smuggled agricultural goods, said Barradas, are either to destroy them or return them to their port of origin, which can be costly.

The BOC-CDO said it will issue a Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the shipments for violation of Section 1400 of Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

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