6 Customs execs relieved over alleged sugar smuggling at Subic port

Six Customs officials assigned to the Port of Subic have been removed from their posts following the entry of sugar from Thailand that was supposedly imported using a recycled permit.

Acting Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz ordered the relief of the following officials pending full investigation: Maritess Theodossis Martin, district collector; Maita Sering Acevedo, deputy collector for assessment; Giovanni Ferdinand Aguillon Leynes, deputy collector for operations; Belinda Fernando Lim, chief of assessment division; Vincent Mark Solamin Malasmas, Enforcement Security Service commander; and Justice Roman Silvoza Geli, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) supervisor.

Authorities foiled an attempt to bring in 140,000 bags of sugar from Thailand worth 7,000 metric tons on August 18, which was brought in by Oro-Agritrade Inc. under the account of ARC Refreshments Corp., the maker of RC Cola.

The CIIS said the imported sugar used a “recycled permit” already used in a previous sugar allocation and delivery.

RC Cola earlier confirmed a shortage in refined sugar among food and beverage companies, but has not resorted to factory closures unlike its rival, Coca-Cola Philippines.


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