February 3, 2017 – A total of 8,000 bags of alleged smuggled rice worth around P20 million were seized in a raid by intelligence agents of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday, 2 February..
Commissioner Nicanor E. Faeldon bared that the bags of seized rice were found in a warehouse at Cresda Ville Subdivision, Barangay San Juan, Taytay, Rizal.
“The raid was in unison with our heightened efforts to stop all forms of agricultural smuggling as provided in Republic Act 10845 [or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016] and in full compliance with the policy of Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Inter-Agency Task Force,” Faeldon said.
The said task force is composed of BOC, National Food Authority, Department of Agriculture (DA), and Office of the Cabinet Secretary under the Office of the President.
Faeldon cited that agricultural smuggling, especially rice worth P1 million, would cause BOC to file economic sabotage as provided under RA 10845. ‘We are tightly looking into this case as one of the incidents that economic sabotage charges will be filed at the Department of Justice should evidence warrants,” he said.
CIIS Director Neil L. Estrella, quoting an after-operation report, said that the warehouse owner was identified as Bernadette Ang.
“We are currently tracing the point of origin of the seized rice since Ms. Ang has not presented import documents that will justify the legality of the importation into the country,” he stressed.
Estrella cited the success of the raid through the support of representatives of DA, agents of the National Bureau of Investigation, and barangay officials of the area.
The warehouse where the alleged smuggled shipment of rice was stored is now under the watch of BOC agents.