21 September 2012

Customs sues Subic rice smugglers

The Bureau of Customs on Thursday charged before the Department of Justice six rice smugglers who figured in bringing into Subic contraband rice from Vietnam.

Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon said that sued for violation of Sections 3601 and 3602, in relation to Sections 2503 and 2530 of the Tariffs and Customs Code of the Philippines were Jan Dexter Marfil, president of Masagana Import Export Inc., the consignee of the Vietnam rice shipment; board members Editha Arzola and Jeaneth Espeleta Vega, directors Gerardo Yaco Vega and William Tunog Quiohilag; and Masagana’s customs broker Mary Joy Sanchez.

Biazon added that the six were charged after the rice smuggling attempt at the Subic Freeport Zone of 20,000 bags rice from Vietnam worth about P30 million.

According to Biazon, the 20,000 bags of rice from Vietnam, which arrived at the Subic port on June 20, 2012, were stacked in forty 40-footer container vans and declared as “gypsum board” to avoid the import permit requirement from the National Food Authority.

“A subsequent alert order was issued by the bureau after the discovery of the misdeclaration upon inspection of the 40 container vans from Vietnam,” he said.

“This was a deliberative attempt to deceive our operatives to avoid the import permit requirement from the National Food Authority for all rice importations and to defraud the government of its appropriate revenues,” he said. (Jovee Marie N. Dela Cruz, Manila Times)