BOC-NAIA proves its mettle

IN a period of less than one week, the Bureau of Customs-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) was able to intercept various prohibited items from making it into the country.

This only goes to show that indeed, the BoC-NAIA personnel under District Collector Mimel Talusan are consistently vigilant in the middle of the pandemic.

During a five-day period of from June 29 up to July 3, Talusan announced the confiscation of meat products, commercial goods and drugs which some unscrupulous individuals tried to sneak into the country,  apparently thinking that the Customs-NAIA personnel have let their guards down since everybody’s focus nowadays is on COVID-19.

Amid the new swine flu, Talusan had ordered an intensified inspection of agricultural products and this resulted in the interception of a total of 775.6 kilograms of meat and meat products without sanitary and phytosanitary clearance from January to June 2020.

The meat and meat products that were confiscated include 268.2 kilograms of pork, 106.4 kilograms of beef, 298.2 kilograms of poultry, and 102 kilograms of other kinds of meat which arrived without permits and health clearance, and were brought in through NAIA from African Swine Fever (ASF)- infected countries.

All the items were turned over to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) for quarantine and immediate disposal to prevent the spread of the virus dangerous to health and food industry.

The frontliners of the BOC NAIA manning the Passenger Area and Air Cargo Warehouses remain on alert against the possible entry of contaminated meat products especially with the emergence of a new strain of swine flu virus.

Customs NAIA has been consistent in protecting our local industry from any possible swine and agricultural epidemic and supports the directive of Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero to continuously monitor and safeguard the country's borders.

Last July 1, the continued vigilance of the BOC -NAIA and X-ray Inspection Project-NAIA resulted in the apprehension on June 29, 2020 of undeclared various goods with a street value of roughly P1.1 million. The seized commercial goods were part of a consolidated shipment from the USA declared as “personal effects."

The seized items include branded watches such as Michael Kors, Fossils, Anne Klein, Charriol, Invicta, Kate Spade, Diesel and Tommy, as well as bags, wallets, shoes -- all in commercial quantity.

The BOC-NAIA issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) against the intercepted consumer goods for violation of Section 1400 (Misdeclaration) and Section 1113 (Property Subject to Seizure and Forfeiture) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. The case records shall also be referred to the Bureau's Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) for a possible criminal complaint against the personalities behind the foiled smuggling attempt.

Prior to this, Customs-NAIA intercepted P2 million worth of raw ecstasy, ecstasy tablets and marijuana in parcels.

The 500 tablets of ecstasy were discovered hidden inside different parcels .  The  raw Ecstacy was declared as "gift" and Marijuana declared as "adult toys".

For 2020 alone, Port of NAIA has already 25 drugbusts. Since 2018, the port has already 86 drug busts and had been actively protecting the country from illegal drugs even during this pandemic.

Talusan has vowed that the BOC-NAIA will continue to be vigilant and support the directives of BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero to guard the borders.

True enough, despite the threat of COVID-19, we can see that the frontliners of BOC-NAIA are committed to supporting the directives of their  Commissioner to guard the country’s border against all forms of customs fraud that will deprive the government of its much-needed revenues during this pandemic and ensure that no illegal drugs and anti-social goods shall pass the country’s primary airport.

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