By Raymund Antonio
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized eight drums of smuggled oil at Taganito Special Economic Zone in Claver, Surigao Del Norte.
In a statement on Saturday, the BOC announced that a composite team from its port in Surigao intercepted the illegally imported oil last January 24.
The team had found the smuggled oil after an anonymous tipster informed the BOC that it was being discharged from a vessel at Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation.
They acted on the tip by going to Taganito Economic Zone to monitor the area and conduct inspection.
The team is composed of Surigao district collector Ciriaco Ugay, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-Surigao supervisor Joseph Romano and other Customs officers.
They went to the yard of THPAL Economic Zone, along with an officer of Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), and found the eight blue colored drums containing oil.
The group inspected the liquid content inside the drum, which was initially suspected as palm oil. Samples were taken and submitted for laboratory analysis to fully determine the contents.
Initial investigation showed that the drums were discharged from MT Southern Narwhal last January 13.
They found out that the drums of oil were not listed as cargoes upon checking the Inward Foreign Manifest and Stowage Plan submitted by the vessel’s captain.
The BOC seized the smuggled oil for violation of Section 113 (l) of Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, which states that, imported or exported goods without going through a customs office is subject to seizure and forfeiture.