Customs agents foil release of 30,000 liters unmarked diesel in Bataan

Published May 24, 2021, 1:51 PM

by Betheena Unite

Bureau of Customs (BOC) agents have intercepted a tanker truck loaded with around 30,000 liters of unmarked diesel during a spot inspection in Mariveles, Bataan.

GOTCHA– A tanker truck carrying around 30,000 liters of unmarked fuel was intercepted on May 21,2021 during a spot inspection in Barangay Batangas II in Mariveles, Bataan. (Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Customs)

Being unmarked means no legal taxes have been paid in connection with the petroleum product. Port of Limay acting District Collector William B. Balayo said the tank of unmarked fuel was intercepted when a team from the port and elements of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Field Inspection Unit (FIU) initiated a spot inspection of tanker trucks on May 21 in Barangay Batangas II, Mariveles.

According to Balayo, the shipment was not covered by a withdrawal certificate or other proofs of payment of excise and value added tax. The FIU later found out that the petroleum products were completely unmarked.

The truck driver, Victor Legaspi and his helper, Clinton Legaspi were apprehended and taken to the Mariveles Police Station.

The BOC said on Monday, May 24 that the driver and his helper will undergo inquest proceedings the same day. Meanwhile, other concerned entities including the owner of the seized fuel are still under investigation.

Fuel or petroleum products must be marked with an official marker once duties and taxes are paid. This is implemented under the Fuel Marking Program, which aims to curb fuel smuggling.

A case buildup for alleged violation of the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended, and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law is under way, the bureau added.

The seized unmarked diesel–the value of which has yet to be determined–was taken into custody by the Port of Limay.

“The Bureau of Customs-Port of Limay, through this decisive action to apprehend the oil smugglers, sends a strong signal that the bureau and other national law enforcement agencies are serious in their commitment to stop oil smuggling,” Balayo said in a statement.