INTELLIGENCE operatives of the Bureau of Customs on Tuesday raided a warehouse of suspected smugglers located just a stone’s throw away from Malacañang Palace and confiscated smuggled goods initially valued at P15 million.
Retired Philippine Marines colonel and now Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) director, Neil Estrella, in a talk with People’s Tonight, said with the approval of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, they raided the warehouse located at No. 747 Padilla St., Quiapo, Manila, after receiving a “confidential report” that it is being used to store smuggled ‘Samsung’ cellphones and other consumer products.
“I admire those behind this smuggling operation as they even have the temerity to store their illicit products near our country’s seat of power which is none other than Malacañang,” Estrella said, adding:
“Our raid proved timely as we even catch a 40-footer van unloading an assortment of goods misdeclared as polybags or trash bags made from plastic,” said Estrella who is also the bureau’s spokesperson.
Among the items found in the container van which came from Xiamen, China, are ‘sex toys’ such as vibrators, sex lubricants and ‘performance enhancement drinks’, cooking oil, fake Nike shoes, fake handbags, electronic products and rice. The confiscated items have an estimated value of P5 million, the official said.
Estrella identified the consignee as Elbrocon Trading with office address at Room 228, Regina Building, Escolta, Manila and the customs broker as Brix D. Evale from Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.
On the other hand, Estrella said no one has yet stepped forward to claim ownership of the confiscated cellphones with an estimated value of P10 million.
“If no one stepped forward or if those claiming the shipment could not produce the required clearances within the period prescribed by law, then these cellphones would be automatically confiscated,” Estrella said.
Under Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), the claimant of the confiscated cellphones would have at least 10 days to prove the importation as legitimate thru the presentation of the required permits and clearances from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).