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PIA Press Release
2007/05/02

Anti-smuggling body surpasses P250-M mark set in 2006

Manila (2 May) -- In a display of diligence and organizational maturity, the Task Force on Anti – Smuggling (TFAS) surpasses its P250 M record of seizures apprehensions set in 2006 in just three (3) months.

Already, TFAS has alerted the Bureau of Customs 2,246 suspect shipments that entered Manila’s major ports loaded with highly dutiable goods within the 1st Quarter of this year.

According to Customs Commissioner and TFAS Head Napoleon L. Morales “ this feat is but the result of diligence and vigilance of

the Task Groups created by the Task Force’s member agencies.” He added that experience and the maturity of the Task Force as an organization enabled harmonized enforcement and expanded operations.

Members of the Special Operations Group on March took on even bolder and novel operation against smuggling of imported high-end motor vehicles in showrooms and display centers in Metro Manila, and the recovery in Angeles City of fourteen (14) smuggled imported luxury motor vehicles spirited out from the Subic Free Port. These two (2) alone easily translate to a dutiable cost amounting to over P150 million.

Monitoring of transport of duty-free goods specifically plastic resin is a major enforcement operation assigned to the Special Operations Group (SOG), carried out as a matter of deterring diversion of raw materials and finished products.

As a matter of assisting the Bureau of Customs in deterring diversion of duty-free commodities such as plastic resin TFAS was able to effectively monitor transport of one hundred seventeen (117) shipments consisting of three hundred twelve (312) 40 – footer and two hundred thirty (230) 20 – footer container vans from the major ports of Manila to customs bonded warehouses. This operation translates to roughly about PhP 464,000,000.00 worth of duty-free commodities protected from possible diversion and further economic losses.

The interception by the Task Group from the Philippine Coast Guard of a diverting MT BMI Patricia Princes containing of

600,000 liters of gas oil or diesel worth about PhP 20,400,000 in the local market on January set the tone of

intensified anti-smuggling activities on Petroleum products along the country’s shorelines.

The PNP ASTG on the other hand launched a nationwide anti-smuggling activities that involved Sub Task Groups in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao where attempts to sneak into the local market imported rice, Korean made imported vehicles and regulated drugs accounted to a dutiable value of over P18,000,000.

These accomplishments were preceded on February by the apprehension of three (3) container vans full of assorted electronic gadgetry and equipment by the National Bureau of Investigation Anti-Smuggling Task Group with an estimated value of over P4,000,000.

“These figures speak of the Task Force’s dutiful pursuit of its mandate and responsibility at ridding our country of smugglers.

At this point, the Task Force is focusing on policy measures that will add muscle to TFAS enforcement operations and further strengthen as an organization, one of which is a proposal for the issuance of

an Executive Order that will bear upon the gray market and that will put an end to the entry of “chop-chop” vehicles.

“Smugglers must beware. The Task Force has become ubiquitous and now has command over a broader mesh of organization. Its mature organization and the linkage developed with other enforcement organizations could only constrict entry points of smuggled goods, ensnare smugglers and stifle their operations.” (BoCustoms/PIA) [top]

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