MANILA – The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) on Thursday recommended the conduct of an investigation against a company for the alleged illegal shipment of eleven containers mostly containing cigarettes.
According to PACC chairman Dante Jimenez, the probe would also involve officers and employees of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
“In view of all the foregoing, there is a need to conduct an investigation on the shipment/containers of Ocean World Enterprises and the release thereof to determine if there are officers and/or employees of the BOC who are involved in smuggling activities within said government agency,” he said in a statement.
“The result of the investigation will prove that there exists corruption within the BOC. The continued scheme of misdeclaration and under-declaration of cargoes and shipments remains rampant,” he added.
The PACC, the BOC-Criminal Intelligence Investigation Service, and the BOC-Manila International Container Port inspected the shipments at the container yard of the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. on Nov. 13.
When the containers were opened earlier, boxes of imported cigarettes and other items, which were not declared in the customs entries and bills of lading submitted by the consignee, were found.
Jimenez also reported that the BOC-CIIS is currently preparing its investigation report on the smuggled cigarettes and other items.
“As of the present time, no case has been filed by the BOC against the Ocean World Enterprises and its broker/s with the courts or with the Department of Justice (DOJ),” Jimenez said.
Before the seizure of the containers, a total of 85 entries comprising of more than a hundred containers belonging to Ocean World Enterprises have been released from August 28 to October 9, 2020.
“The item descriptions appearing in the bills of lading of these earlier containers are similar to those appearing in the bills of lading of the 11 seized containers. It is still unclear whether these containers have undergone the proper inspection protocols of the BOC,” the statement added. (PNA)