Customs charges 2 trading firms with smuggling
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has intensified its campaign against the smuggling of Thai sugar—using China and Hong Kong as transshipment points—which has resulted in revenue loss to the government.
This was disclosed to the Inquirer on Thursday by Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina shortly after filing smuggling charges in the Department of Justice against two trading firms for the illegal importation of refined sugar worth P33 million from Thailand.
Lina identified the firms as Rainbow Holdings Inc. (RHI) and Trisho General Merchandise (TGM), with offices at Alpap II Building, Madrigal Business Park, Ayala Alabang, and 445 National Highway, San Ildefonoso, Bulacan, respectively.
Listed as respondents were the following officers of the firms: Eunk Young Son, president and chief executive officer; Sopon Seung Joon, senior adviser; Rolando Ambrosio, corporate financial officer, and Kathleen May Uy, corporate secretary, all of RHI; and TGM owner Patricia Manahan Ong and customs broker Cleth Jay Bacay.
The RHI and TGM officers were charged with violation of Section 3601 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code and rules and regulations of the Sugar Regulatory Administration.
Section 3601 of the TCCP covers the illegal importation of commodities like sugar.
Customs records showed that 21 40-foot shipping containers consigned to RHI arrived between July 29 and Aug. 21 this year at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).
The shipments were “declared as bitumen (an oil substance used in road and roofing asphalt), but were found to contain refined sugar.”
On May 15, one 40-foot container van, consigned to TGM, arrived at the MICP, also declared as bitumen.
In an interview, Lina said the filing of smuggling charges against the two firms was “proof of the BOC’s commitment to protect the sugar industry.”
Customs personnel, including the bureau’s Intelligence and Investigation Service, are “working closely with our partner nongovernment groups like the Sugar Alliance of the Philippines in this campaign,” he said.
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