Cases for smuggling and violation of customs laws have been filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against several importers and customs brokers, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Public Information and Assistance Division (PIAD) said.
According to a statement from BOC, the five cases either involved wrong declaration of imported goods or importation of counterfeit items, with a total value of about P20.5 million and outstanding duties and taxes estimated around P9 million.
“We will be relentless in our efforts to apprehend smugglers and their cohorts. We will not stop,” BOC Chief Isidro Lapeña said in a statement.
In one case, five individuals from the Malaya Multi-Purpose Cooperative allegedly misdeclared a shipment worth of P2.5 million worth of onions, apples, and pears.
The cooperative members involved, identified as Oscar Catacutan, Mario Briones, Eddie Lalu, Randy Turla, and Alfredo Guevarra, along with customs broker Mary Faith Duran Miro will face cases for large-scale agricultural smuggling after it was revealed that four other containers of onions were hidden among carts of apples and pears.