October 18, 2022
MANILA — Customs officials have seized P228 million worth of smuggled sugar at Manila International Container Port (MICP) after the consignee failed to present an import clearance from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).
The shipment, which consisted of 76 containers of refined sugar, arrived at MICP from Thailand on Sept. 24.
Yogi Filemon Ruiz, commissioner of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), led customs agents in inspecting the shipment on Monday after the MICP’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) requested the issuance of an alert order against it.
CIIS-MICP chief Alvin Enciso reported that there was an attempt by the consignee to change its name after a request for the issuance of an alert order was received at the District Collector’s Office on Oct. 4.
Enciso said his office denied the request to amend the manifest changing the consignee’s name and instead recommended that warrants of seizure and detention be issued against the shipment “due to lack of the requisite clearance for release of imported sugar being issued by the SRA in violation of Sections 117 and 1113 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.”
The BOC said that there was initial information about the shipment’s status as containing “misdeclared and undeclared goods.”
“I’m proud of what our team has done in this case. They didn’t let this attempt to change consignees go through and were fast on their feet in making sure we stop another shipment from entering our local markets,” Ruiz said in a statement.