Smuggling charges filed against BOC officials, brokers in Mindanao Container Terminal-Phividec

The Bureau of Customs (BOC), on September 7, filed criminal charges before the Department of Justice against four consignees, customs broker, and five (5) customs employees involved in ?swing operation? and ?release now and file entry later? schemes at the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) – Phividec.

The cases were filed after the discovery of smuggling schemes of unscrupulous importers in connivance with BOC employees at the Sub-Port of Tagoloan, MCT-Phividec. The schemes involve the unlawful releasing of containers from Customs before the filing of its entries and before the payment of corresponding duties and taxes.

Under the ?swing operation? scheme, shipments were released from Customs custody thru the use of a Pre-Assessment-Single Administrative Document (SAD) print out from the Value-Added Service Provider (VASP) with stamp of ?SUBJECT FOR X-RAY? or ?FOR TRANSFER TO MICT-CCA?, then spirited out from the port.

Under tbis scheme, the shipments were released without the corresponding import entry being filed and , no payment of duties and taxes made..

While under the ?Release and File Entry Later? scheme, the shipments were immediately released from Customs custody with their corresponding import entry filed several days after the releasei n order to avoid timely detection.

The above charges were filed against the owner of General Success Merchandise, Sherbet Sabillo Alazas, and its licensed customs broker, Raul Mercado De Leon, Jr., the owner of Melea RPL Enterprises, RP Joegen Lisondra, the owner of Mave Trading, Meljane B. Mejos, and the owner of FVV Gracias Enterprises, Francis Victor V. Gracias.

Other personalities indicted were Jose Mari G. Fernandez, the Terminal Manager of Mindanao International Container Terminal, and Customs representative Geneva C. Cede?o, alias ?BEBANG?, who personally facilitated the unlawful release of the containers from customs premises.

Likewise, five (5) Customs employees were charged namely: Liling Comayog, Officer-in-Charge, Cargo Control Division of the Sub-Port of Tagoloan, whose name and signature were found on the Pre-Assessment SAD of the shipments which aided the unlawful release of the containers; customs police agents Mangigin D. Macawadib, Godofredo T. Cahulogan, and Magalona T. Busok, who were on duty at the time of the unlawful release; and Cao D. Malic, the on-duty customs gatekeeper.

The Bureau has previously filed criminal cases against consignees General Success Merchandise and Mave Trading for misdeclaration and unlawful importation of agricultural products.

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