MANILA -The Bureau of Customs (BOC) confiscated P999.5 million worth of contraband in the first quarter of this year alone, already close to the value of the full-year haul in 2022.
Last year, the BOC Enforcement and Security Services (ESS) apprehended 397 shipments valued at a total of P1.044 billion.
This year, from January to March, the ESS seized 81 cargo that rang up to a total of P999.474 million.
Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio said among the contraband captured during the first quarter were four billion liters of petroleum products. In 2022, 18 billion liters of hot fuel were seized.
“With this kind of performance, the ESS is evidently of great help and is necessary in attaining our” goals this year, Rubio said.
The BOC chief started his career as a Special Agent—an entry level position—with the ESS.
On March 20, the BOC through its Ninoy Aquino International Airport district office seized 58.93 kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu,” tagged with an estimated street value of P400.7 million.
In Navotas City, the agency raided several storage facilities that yielded P120 million worth of poultry and seafood products that were “suspected smuggled.”
Across Metro Manila, the BOC inspected 24 warehouses that yielded P150 million worth of allegedly smuggled agricultural products, including fresh onions and garlic.
In Subic, the BOC confiscated 30,000 sacks of “misdeclared” refined sugar valued at P150 million.
At the Port of Batangas, the BOC seized a vessel laden with 4,000 metric tons of refined sugar from Thailand, valued at P261 million. INQ
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