BOC-POZ Seizes P42 Million Worth of Smuggled Rice in Zamboanga City

The Bureau of Customs-Port of Zamboanga (BOC-POZ) has confiscated 42,180 sacks of rice worth P42 million from a warehouse in Brgy. San Jose Gusu, Zamboanga City, after finding out that they were smuggled and misdeclared.

The raid was conducted on May 19, 2023, by the BOC, along with other law enforcement agencies, following a tip-off that there were illegal rice shipments in the area. The seized goods were identified as Alas Jasmine Fragrant Rice, which were not covered by the required import permits and documents.

The owner’s representative tried to present some import documents to prove the legitimacy of the rice, but they were found to be inconsistent and fraudulent.

The documents stated that the rice was “White Rice 15% Broken”, while the actual goods were Jasmine Fragrant Rice. The documents also lacked the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance (SPSIC) from the Bureau of Plant Industry, which is mandatory for importing rice.

The BOC-POZ issued an Order of Forfeiture against the smuggled rice on September 1, 2023, for violating several laws and regulations, such as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) of 2016, Rice Tariffication Law, and Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.

District Collector Arthur G. Sevilla Jr. said that the Port of Zamboanga will continue to monitor and act on reports regarding smuggling in all forms.

He added that this is in line with the directive of Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio and President Ferdinand R. Marcos to go after hoarders and illegal importers of rice.

The forfeited goods will be disposed of according to the law.

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