The Bureau of Customs (BOC) conducted raids on warehouses located in Cavite and Las Pinas, uncovering a stash of illicitly imported rice with an estimated value of P40 million.
This coordinated operation involved the thorough inspection of two distinct warehouses, one situated in Pulang Lupa, Las Pinas, and the other in Bacoor, Cavite. These facilities were found to be storing rice products originating from Vietnam, Thailand, and China.
During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that a trader had been distributing Vietnamese rice at an exorbitant rate of P1,320 for a 25-kilo sack, which is equivalent to P52.8 per kilo. This pricing flagrantly violated the Department of Agriculture’s prescribed price range of P41 to P45 per kilo for well-milled and regular-milled rice.
In response to these findings, the warehouse owner argued that they were merely engaged in the trade of rice and were not involved in the importation process. In light of this claim, the BOC has insisted on concrete evidence of duly paid duties and taxes, compelling the supplier or importer to provide the necessary documentation.
Authorities have granted the warehouse owner a 15-day grace period within which to provide the required documentation, establishing the legality of the importation of the aforementioned rice sacks and ensuring the correct payment of the associated duties and taxes.