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Exotic pests declared as ‘candies,’ hidden in postal item, seized by BOC-NAIA

Photo shows one of the exotic pests confiscated after being declared as candies. (JERRY S. TAN)

BUREAU of Customs-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (BOC-NAIA) District Collector Yasmin O. Mapa announced that they were able to seize misdeclared pests from Thailand at the Sub-Port of Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC) on November 13, 2023.

Mapa said that through the rigorous screening of postal items, including x-ray scanning and thorough physical examination, a parcel was found to contain 50 concealed pieces of isopods, invertebrates belonging to the greater crustaceans which were all misdeclared as candy.

The exotic pests were confiscated for lack of import clearance from the Bureau of Plant Industry, violating the Plant Quarantine Law of 1978 (PD 1433) and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), she added.

Hailing the interception, Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio stated: “The Bureau of Customs pledges to prevent smuggling and protect the country’s borders against threats, including exotic pests, through strict border controls and reforms.”

Mapa said the BOC-NAIA remains firm in its border security efforts against the entry of any foreign pests, in line with the directives of Commissioner Rubio.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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