Hontiveros asks BOC to probe continued attempts of repeat violators to smuggle agri products

Hontiveros asks BOC to probe continued attempts of repeat violators to smuggle agri products

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Risa Hontiveros is urging the Bureau of Customs to submit an investigative report as to why repeat violators of agricultural smuggling remain brazen in their attempts to move contraband produce into the country.

At a hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole, Hontiveros referred to a matrix from the BOC on government operations on smuggled agricultural products. Based on the report, the senator explained that at least four companies stood out for their repeated transactions.

“Kapansin-pansin ang Zhenpin, Thousand Sunny Enterprise, Dua Te Mira, at Gingarnion Agri Trading. These companies were involved in at least P400M worth of smuggled vegetables. Ibig sabihin, halos kalahati ng P800M reported apprehensions ng BOC, ay involved itong apat na ito,” Hontiveros said.

According to the document, all four were subject of the biggest forfeiture of agricultural products at the port of Subic. Both Thousand Sunny and Dua Te Mira had been arrested three times for misdeclaring shipments and overstaying. Meanwhile, Gingarnion had previously been arrested at least once. The shipments were carrying onions, carrots, and broccoli.

“Bakit nakakaulit sila? From June, umulit noong July, at umulit ulit noong October. Bakit namimihasa sila? May special consideration ba sa mga ito? Nais nating malaman kung bakit patuloy na nakakapagnegosyo ang apat na yan,” she asked.

Hontiveros then called on the BOC to delist any repeat offenders from Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 20-01, which enabled the expedited release of refrigerated containers and dry vans during Enhanced Community Quarantine. (ai/mtvn)

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