More than a hundred criminal and administrative cases were filed against erring importers and Customs brokers in 2020, the Bureau of Customs bared Wednesday.
A total of 127 cases were filed by the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) over violations of RA 10863, also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and other pertinent laws from 2020 to January 8 this year.
Of these, 75 criminal cases were filed against various importers before the Department of Justice while 52 administrative cases were filed against customs brokers before the Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC).
Further, a total of 48 disciplinary administrative cases were also filed against erring Customs employees from 2019 to 2020, 18 of which were transmitted to the Office of the Ombudsman.
For 2020, 11 cases were resolved, 17 are for resolution, and 11 cases are under formal investigation.
During the same period, 370 cases on appeal were resolved by the Customs bureau through its Legal Service. These cases consist of abandonment proceedings, seizure and forfeiture cases, determination of probable cause proceedings, and protests.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero vowed that they will remain “committed in enforcing Customs laws as the agency embarks on further strengthening its border security efforts for 2021.”