Firm faces raps for importing hydrochloric acid from India sans permits
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Bureau of Customs has announced it will file charges against a consignee of hundreds of plastic drums containing hydrochloric acid from India, that did not have import permits when the items entered the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental in February.
The BOC Northern Mindanao (BOC-10) will file the appropriate complaint against the consignee apart from the one that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is preparing, according to Alvin Enciso, chief of the agency’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS).
Enciso said the 320 plastic drums were seized by BOC-10 as the PDEA-10 also confirmed that the chemical was really hydrochloric acid after it underwent a laboratory test.
The chemical was placed inside four 4×20 container vans that entered the MCT sub-port last month.
Samples taken from the items containing hydrochloric acid have shown the chemical is a controlled precursor and deemed essential under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, according to the PDEA.
“With the laboratory result, we have already forwarded our recommendations to the [BOC] head office for the filing of smuggling case against the importer,” Enciso said.
He said the consignee failed to present an import permit, and for that, the company, based in Butuan City, could be charged for violating importation laws.
He explained that the consignee failed to present import permits from the PDEA, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Food and Drug Administration, a document that an importing company must secure prior to the importation of the items.
Enciso said the PDEA in Caraga also raided the company’s warehouse and discovered dozens of plastic drums containing hydrochloric acid.
Enciso said the consignee claimed that the hydrochloric acid was intended for use in mining activities. He noted that the importing company was transparent in its declaration.
He said smugglers of imported goods usually did not properly declare the items that entered the local ports.
According to Enciso, the consignee is a retailer and retailers like him would just sell the chemical without verifying if it is really utilized for mining or for the manufacture of methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu.” SFM
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