BOC Apprehends Php 5 Million Worth of PPE and Alcohol
In line with the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) commitment to border security, the BOC through the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) assisted by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Manila Police District (MPD) and concerned citizens of Barangay 281-26, successfully raided a store in San Nicolas Binondo Manila today, March 26, 2020 suspected of selling overpriced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and alcohol.
Armed with a letter of authority (LOA), elements of the BOC-CIIS and PCG raided the Binondo store at 9:20 am which resulted to the apprehension of Php 5,000,000.00 worth of facemasks, gloves, goggles, alcohols, thermal scanners, test tubes and syringes. Owners of the store were not around during the raid as the team was only assisted by the building administrator and store personnel. The establishment was further verified to have been undergoing renovation and only operating through online transactions.
Investigation revealed that the store’s online operations charge online buyers with exorbitant prices or almost four times the suggested retail price. The BOC-CIIS is now doing an inventory of apprehended goods.
The owners have 15 days to present importation documents to prove that the said items were legally procured and if not, they shall face charges for smuggling in violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
The recent apprehension demonstrates the relentless campaign of BOC to curb smuggling despite the health risk due to COVID-19 pandemic. It also sends a strong message and stern warning to smugglers and unscrupulous businessmen who continue to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shortage of PPE and medical supplies.
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE (PIO) Bureau of Customs G/F OCOM Building, South Harbor (Port of Manila), Manila Landline: (02) 8527-8259 or (02) 8527-1968 Fax: (02) 8527-1968
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