BoC files 70 smuggling cases, shuts down 19 warehouses

THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) filed 70 criminal cases against 244 alleged smugglers and ordered the closure of 19 customs-bonded warehouses in the year to date, the Department of Finance (DoF) said in a statement Thursday.

Citing a report from the BoC, the DoF said 151 warehouses were inspected between January and Dec. 4.

Anti-smuggling operations yielded P9.52 billion worth of confiscated goods found to have been illegally imported.

Around 53% of the total were tobacco products, according to Deputy Customs Commissioner Vener S. Baquiran.

Meanwhile, other seized products included P1.85 billion worth of illegal drugs, P1 billion of fake goods, and P414 million of smuggled general merchandise.

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Other smuggled items confiscated by the BoC included automobile accessories (P354.53 million); agricultural products (P238.49 million); food (P200 million); personal protective equipment, medical supplies and cosmetics (P195.57 million); jewelry and other products (P68.89 million); used clothes (P48.09 million); smuggled cash in various currencies (P33 million); electronics goods (P31.07 million); chemicals (P5 million); steel products (P4.76 million); alcoholic beverages (P2.43 million); and firearms (P300,000).

The BoC collected P44.69 billion in November, exceeding the revised P42.221-billion goal by 5.85%, but 12% below than the year-ago level.

In the 11 months to November, the bureau collected P493.324 billion, or 97.47% of its revised full-year target of P506.15 billion. Before the pandemic, Customs was tasked with collecting P730 billion this year. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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