Customs shuts down warehouses storing 'smuggled' rice in Bulacan

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 25) — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday shut down three warehouses allegedly storing smuggled rice worth ₱505 million in Bulacan.

The BOC identified the warehouses as Great Harvest Rice Mill Warehouse, San Pedro Warehouse, and FS Rice Mill Warehouse. All are located inside the Intercity Industrial Complex in Barangay San Juan in Balagtas.

The warehouses contained around 202,000 sacks of imported rice grains – reportedly from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.

READ: Gov't expects lower rice prices as PH opens importation talks with Vietnam, India

Customs chief Bienvenido Rubio said he ordered the owners of the warehouses to present necessary documents that will support its rice importation, as well as the amount of rice they have been keeping.

"Smuggling agricultural products, in particular rice which is the staple food in every Filipino home, poses a grave threat to our economy. It creates a ripple effect that impacts the core of our agricultural sector – our farmers," he added.

READ: Flag of surrender? Lawmakers slam DA for rice import plans

If found without proper importation documents and proof of payment of correct duties and taxes, the BOC said it will seize and forfeit the sacks of rice in violation of Section 1401 (Unlawful Importation) under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.