Customs records all-time high ₱31.5B worth of seized smuggled goods

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 23) — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has already seized a record high ₱31.5 billion worth of smuggled goods this year.

“Ito po iyong highest ever record po ng Bureau of Customs, considering na hindi pa po tapos ang taon,” said BOC director Verne Enciso in a media forum on Saturday, as cited by the Presidential Communications Office.

[Translation: This is highest ever record by the Bureau of Customs, considering that the year is not yet done.]

The BOC said that commodities infringing on intellectual property rights are on the top list of seized items.

The bureau also confiscated large amounts of cigarettes and drugs, it added.

Meanwhile, ₱3.3 billion worth of agricultural products were also seized this year.

Aside from setting a price ceiling on rice, Executive Order No. 39 issued by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. also warrants inspection of warehouses suspected of hoarding and storing smuggled rice.

Enciso said that 236,571 sacks of rice imported from Vietnam, Thailand, and Pakistan were seized earlier in four warehouses in Bulacan.

The BOC added that it has also uncovered 36,000 sacks of rice in Tondo, Manila and 20,000 sacks in Las Piñas City and Bacoor, Cavite.

The bureau said claimants have 15 days to provide proof of payment of taxes and other regulatory duties for the imported rice stored in these facilities.