Plant bureau seeks help to curb smuggling
Quezon City (10 October) -- THE Bureau of Plant Industry turned to the Bureau of Customs for help in curbing what officials suspect to be widespread smuggling of vegetables.
Charges of economic sabotage, falsification of public documents and revocation of permit are to be filed against a brokerage company operating at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and another firm, Eastern Pacific Trading, allegedly for falsifying documents that had allowed the release of 11 container vans filled with imported onions from China, said Lealyn Ramos, officer-in-charge of the bureau.
“We are now seeking the help of the Bureau of Customs for assistance to better facilitate the processing of vegetable imports,” Ramos said. “There has been a falsification of the DA’s stamp and pertinent signatures.”
The seized products are estimated at 275 metric tons, valued at P5.5 million.
Ramos said her bureau had coordinated with MICP collector lawyer Adelina Molina to double-check the documents covering the sudden influx of onions from China.
She also said permits held by Eastern Pacific Trading had expired.
The anomaly was discovered in late July, Ramos added. (PIA) [top]