BOC seizes P770-M ‘hot’ goods in first six weeks of 2022

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported to the Department of Finance (DOF) that it seized P769.67 million-worth of goods from Jan 1 to Feb 11, 2022, from 33 search and seizure operations that yielded mostly illicit shipments of vehicles, cigarettes and other tobacco products, and illegal drugs.

Preliminary data reported by the BOC showed that of the seized goods over the January 1-February 11 period, vehicles and their accessories accounted for P420 million, followed by cigarettes and other tobacco products worth P221.4 million, and illegal drugs estimated at P46 million.

In his report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III during a recent DOF Executive Committee (Execom) meeting, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the BOC has also apprehended P44.8 million-worth of currency, personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other medical supplies valued at P30 million, and P6 million-worth of agricultural products.

The other seized items were general merchandise, firearms, wildlife and other products worth P1.5 million.

Over the January 1-February 11 period, the BOC filed 11 criminal cases with the Department of Justice (DOJ) against 30 respondents suspected of involvement in smuggling activities, and another 3 administrative cases against erring customs brokers before the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

The BOC has also completed the inspection and investigation of Customs warehouses, Guerrero said.

From the total of 138 Customs Bonded Warehouses (CBWs) and 245 Members of Customs Common Bonded Warehouses (CCBW), 75 were issued with Order of Closure as of February 11, he added. (DOF)