THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has confiscated at least 476 boxes of different species of imported fish after the dealers failed to present the necessary importation documents.
The BFAR law enforcers and fisheries confiscated the contraband during their operation the other day in Malabon against illegal importation.
During the operation, one of the fish dealers was unable to present the necessary importation documents of fish intended for wet markets, including Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Certificate, delivery receipts, and transport clearance.
The absence of the importation documents is a violation of Sec. 105 or unlawful importation and exportation of fish or fishery species of Republic Act (RA) 8550, as amended by RA 10654 and in relation to FAO 195. The importers are not yet identified as of this writing.
Meanwhile, the delivery receipt presented by the second dealer does not match the delivery receipt being issued by the alleged importing company, as per verification with the importer.
The BFAR said that Notices of Violation for the filing of administrative cases were already issued to the dealers of imported fish. The seized items, which include boxes of galunggong, mackerel, squid, yellow tail salmon, and moonfish, are kept in a storage facility under the custody of the apprehending team.
Under Sec. 105 of the amended Philippine Fisheries Code, failure on the part of the shipping company from whose possession the fish or fishery species imported are discovered or seized to fully cooperate in the investigation conducted by concerned government authorities shall create a presumption that there is connivance or conspiracy between the shipping company and the shipper to perpetrate the illegal importation.