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Apparel company faces criminal charges for P2M worth of smuggled glutinous rice

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Apparel company faces criminal charges for P2M worth of smuggled glutinous rice

WORLDWIDE APPAREL Manufacturing, Inc. will be slapped with criminal charges after the Bureau of Customs (BoC) busted on Wednesday a 20-footer container consigned to the company containing P2 million worth of glutinous rice but declared as “polyester knitted breast cup.”

Customs Commissioner Isidro S. Lapeña, who presented the smuggled goods yesterday to the media, said, “The shipment will undergo forfeiture proceedings and we will file the corresponding criminal charges against the consignee.”

The BoC discovered the misdeclared shipment after a 100% physical examination on the container.

“The consignee declared it as polyester knitted breast cup, however, during the conduct of x-ray examination, a different image was retrieved from the machine which led to the issuance of alert order as per recommendation of the X-ray Inspection Project (XIP),” Mr. Lapeña said in a statement.

Sec. 1129 (c) of Republic Act 10863, the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, provides that when regulated goods are subjected to alert order and the assessed duties, taxes, and other charges thereof are not paid within 15 days from notification from the Bureau of the resolution of the alert order, the shipment shall be deemed abandoned.

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Since the consignee was absent 15 days since the day of its shipment, Sept. 5, the BoC was prompted to conduct the full physical examination.

The law imposes tight penalties to cases involving the smuggling of agricultural goods worth over P1 million, as it is deemed an act of economic sabotage. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan

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