ZAMBOANGA CITY – Operatives of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), with personnel of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), have seized PHP190,400 worth of smuggled produce in Zamboanga del Sur, a top BOC official here has announced.
Sigmundfreud Barte Jr., BOC-Zamboanga district collector, said the smuggled produce, which consisted of 151 sacks of red onions and 121 sacks of garlic, was seized in Barangay New Labangan of Labangan town at about 10 a.m. on Thursday.
Barte said the BOC and BPI team established a checkpoint in the area after receiving information about the shipment of imported red onions and garlic in transit to the province of Zamboanga del Sur.
He said the joint team flagged down two trucks loaded with assorted local agricultural goods and vegetables that came from Cagayan de Oro City.
“Upon closer inspection of its cargoes, it was found out that several small sacks of imported onions and garlic were mixed with locally manufactured goods and vegetables,” Barte said in a statement.
He noted that the two drivers, who were not identified, said they came from Cagayan de Oro City and were tasked to deliver the assorted vegetables to markets in Pagadian City and Zamboanga City.
Barte said the smuggled onions and garlic, valued at PHP190,400, were seized in violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and Republic Act 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act.
The BOC was still investigating the source of the imported onions and garlic, which were placed under the custody of the DA-BPI in Pagadian City for safekeeping.
He said with guidance from BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, they have strengthened the conduct of anti-smuggling operations on land through various strategic checkpoints in the Zamboanga Peninsula to prevent the entry of smuggled goods. (PNA)