BOC agents seize P4.2-M smuggled onions

Agents of the Bureau of Customs – Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) has seized three container vans loaded with more than P4.2 million worth of smuggled onions from China at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

CIIS-MICP Intelligence Officer Teodoro Sagaral said the shipment was intercepted by the BOC after CIIS agents received an intel report that the onions were deliberately covered underneath the fresh garlic.

Sagaral said only 80 bags of garlic out of 2,800 bags were found inside the container by agents upon examination.

“The import permit presented covers the fresh garlic only but it doesn’t account for the declared onions beneath the declared garlic,” he added.

The onions were consigned to Equicent Import and Export Corporation with business address at U253, 2F Velco Centre Building, R.S. Oca corner Delgado St., Port Area, Manila.

CIIS Director Neil Estrella said the importers have no corresponding import permits from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).

BPI, an agency under Department of Agriculture, issues import permits for onions and garlic.

Enforcement Group Deputy Commissioner Teddy Raval recommended the issuance of a warrant of seizure and detention of the shipment for misdeclaration. #