BOC-Davao monitors ‘small boats’ for contraband

BOC-Davao monitors ‘small boats’ for contraband

DAVAO CITY – The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Davao is closely monitoring the presence of small boats within its jurisdiction after PHP1.4 billion in counterfeit cigarettes were seized at a warehouse in Sulu province.

In an interview Wednesday, Erastus Sandino Austria, the BOC-Davao district collector said they are on alert after the incident since the contraband can easily be transported to a city like Davao.

On March 2, BOC operatives found 18,533 master cases of assorted imported cigarettes at a Sulu warehouse during an inspection.

“Of course, this is not for the consumption of the inhabitants of the archipelago nor the citizens of the beautiful city of Zamboanga. It might be going to the biggest urban hub here in Davao,” Sandino said.

Currently, he said BOC-Davao is closely working with partner government law enforcement agencies to ensure that no smuggled cigarettes will enter the city.

“It (smuggled cigarettes) might be mixed with drugs. Our approach and intervention are multipronged as we also asked the Armed Forces of the Philippines to put a lead, and a stop to the situation,” Sandino added.

Meanwhile, in celebration of the 96th founding anniversary of BOC-Davao, Commissioner Bienvenido Rubi lauded the effort of the agency for all its accomplishments.

“I am honored to have witnessed your accomplishments through your dedication and your unwavering commitment,”  Rubio said in his speech during the first-ever Customs Summit held here last Thursday.

He noted that the numerous seizure of illicit goods and various commodities by BOC-Davao amounting to PHP245 million in the recent past is commendable. (PNA)

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