CUSTOMS Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Danilo D. Lim yesterday seized some P44.4-million worth of smuggled onions in a warehouse located at ICR Compound, Canumay East, Valenzuela City.
In a raid conducted by agents of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the smuggled cargoes were discovered consigned to Royal Halo Enterprises at No. 286 Madrigal Building, Room 205, Binondo, Manila.
DepComm Lim said that the smuggled onions were misdeclared as plastic cups and plastic wares loaded in 10 40-footer container vans from China and slipped past the premises of the Manila International Container Port by paying only from P70,000 to P140,000 per container van.
Lim said that some P18-million were lost by the government from said smuggling incident that probably succeeded through deep collusion between players and corrupt BOC officials and employees.
Lim added that the seizure was approved by Commissioner Ruffy Biazon after a thorough review by BOC lawyers with regards to its corresponding violations to the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP) and other related laws.
“It is very evident that there is serious malice to defraud the government of taxes and insult TCCP arrogantly in this incident, thus, all culprits in this case have to be brought to justice,” Lim said.
Jimmy Guban, assistant chief of the Risk Management Office and leader of the raiding team, said that 90% of seized smuggled onions were already unloaded from the container vans when they entered the premises of Steel World at ICR compound owned by Lam Tai Tin at Canumay East at around 9:30 am yesterday.
“There were still 2 40-footer container vans outside Steel World filled with smuggled onions when we opened it for inspection. And definitely, it was a part of the shipment inside the warehouse,” Guban said.
Guban identified Jason Ferrer as the licensed customs broker who facilitated the illegal release of the P44.4-million smuggled onions from BOC.
Guban claimed that in an investigation he discovered that Steel World was only rented as stock warehouse of the smuggled onions by a certain Allan Lim, owner of the MKK Enterprise, with office address at 1071-D Carmen Planas Street, Tondo, Manila .
A copy of the contract of lease between Lam Tai Ting and Allan Lim was also seized that indicated the latter was the renter and claimant of the cargoes.
Guban, however said, BOC intel has still yet to ascertain ownership of the smuggled onions but considers Allan Lim as a key suspect or participant in the smuggling of said shipment.
Guban and his team padlocked Steel World with the smuggled onions in until final disposition is made by Commissioner Biazon and DepComm Lim in the next few days.
Corresponding charges will be filed against the consignee, broker, and BOC employees involved in the onion smuggling. Jessil A. Felisario, Public Information & Assistance Division, Bureau of Customs (BOC)