Customs seizes smuggled electronic products, uncovers 15 undocumented Chinese nationals

Alert operatives of the Bureau of Customs – Intelligence Group (BOC-IG)  raided recently a business establishment in Binondo, Manila for selling allegedly smuggled high valued electronic products.

BOC photos

Armed with a Letter of Authority (LOA) No. 07-31-152-2019, a team composed of agents from the BOC Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), Intellectual Property Rights Division (IPRD), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Joint Task Force (JTF) – National Capital Region (NCR) and personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) intercepted on 31 July 2019 electronic devices such as Apple Iphones, IPads, Mi Brand and Samsung devices, demanding evidence of proper payment of duties and taxes.

The issuance of the said LOA is pursuant to Section 224 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).  Under the CMTA provision, “The Commissioner or any customs officer who is authorized in writing by the Commissioner, may demand evidence of payment of duties and taxes on imported goods openly for sale or kept in storage.  In the event that the interested party fails to produce such evidence within fifteen (15) days, the goods may be seized and subjected to forfeiture proceedings.”

The joint operation stemmed from more than a month of information gathering and surveying conducted by operatives from BOC-IG.

The owner of the establishment has until 14 August 2019 to present the evidence of payment of duties and taxes on imported goods openly for sale or kept in storage or proof of local purchase.

Also discovered during the raid were fifteen (15) undocumented Chinese nationals. They were successfully turned-over to the Bureau of Immigration for documentation and processing. 

According to the Bureau of Immigration, of the fifteen (15), nine (9) were found to be tourists who were working without proper permits, three (3) have unknown status (no record of travel found), two (2) with 9G visa and one (1) with Special Working Permit.

All fifteen (15) Chinese nationals and their cases were referred to the Legal Division of the Bureau of Immigration for initiation of deportation proceedings. CUSTOMS.GOV.PH