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Php42-M worth of smuggled rice seized in Zamboanga City

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Sept. 18 (PIA) – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Zamboanga City forfeited a total of 42,180 sacks of rice worth Php42-million after a raid on a warehouse in Barangay San Jose Gusu, Zamboanga City on September 15.

The BOC in collaboration with the Coast Guard Intelligence Group-Southwestern Mindanao, Task Force Aduana, and Marine Battalion Landing Team 11, executed an inspection at a warehouse located in Barangay San Jose Gusu. 

The operation was authorized by a Letter of Authority issued by Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, prompted by credible information regarding the presence of smuggled rice within one of the stalls within the said facility. Upon conducting a thorough inventory, the team uncovered a total of 42,180 sacks of Alas Jasmine Fragrant Rice.

The warehouse owner’s submitted documents were found out that the subject confiscated goods were not covered by requisite Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance from the Bureau of Plant Industry. Moreover, there were discrepancies in the actual seized goods from what was declared in the documents presented purportedly covering the same. The proofs of payment submitted referred to a shipment of White Rice 15% Broken, while based on the actual examination, the seized sacks of rice were Jasmine Fragrant Rice.

42,180 sacks of rice worth Php42-million seized in a warehouse in Barangay San Jose, Gusu, Zamboanga City. (Photo courtesy of BOC Port of Zamboanga)

The BOC Port of Zamboanga issued an Order of Forfeiture on September 1, against the subject sacks of rice for violation of Rice Tariffication Law, and Republic Act No. 10845, otherwise known as the “Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016”.

The forfeited goods shall be disposed on Tuesday, September 19, in which President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is expected to arrive in the city and will personally turnover the forfeited rice to the Department of Social Welfare and Development and will be distributed to 4Ps beneficiaries in Zamboanga City, Municipality of Tungawan and Sibuco, including farmers and fisherfolks.

BOC Zamboanga City District Collector Arthur Sevilla Jr. stressed that the Port of Zamboanga will continue to monitor and act on reports regarding smuggling in all forms. This is pursuant to Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio’s and President Ferdinand R. Marcos’ marching order to go after hoarders and illegal importers of rice. (AB/RVC/MLE/PIA9-Zamboanga City with reports from BOC Port of Zamboanga)

About the Author

Myra Cel Espinosa

Information Officer III

Region 9

Myra Espinosa is an Information Officer of the Philippine Information Agency Region IX.  She writes news and feature stories for the agency's website and social media platforms. She is currently the program host of Kapihan na Zamboanga Public Briefing, as well as a news contributor for PTV News. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration Major in Organization and Management from Western Mindanao State University.

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