P100-M smuggled frozen meat seized in Navotas

Published May 28, 2021, 7:13 PM

by Betheena Unite

Smuggled frozen meat and seafood products amounting to P100 million were uncovered from 12 reefer containers, which were parked at a vacant lot in Navotas City, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Friday, May 28.

COLD CATCH– Various smuggled frozen goods worth P100 million from four different countries were discovered in 12 reefers in Navotas City on May 27, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the DA)

Various frozen pork, beef, jumbo shrimp, eel, black chicken, crawfish, peking duck, and dori fish fillet were found inside the 12 refrigerated containers in Barangay San Rafael.

The DA said that based on the markings of the packages, the shipments originated from Vietnam, China, Germany, and Belgium. Investigation showed that the items were not covered by any import permit.

The shipment was intercepted on Thursday, May 27, during an operation initiated by a team from the DA, Sub Task Group on Economic Intelligence (STG-EI), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and Philippine National Police (PNP).

The reefers were inspected in the presence of the alleged caretaker identified as Gilbert Abanso.

Abanso admitted to authorities that the goods did not have any permit or clearance from concerned agencies.

The DA will conduct a full inventory on the seized goods before disposing them. Meanwhile, the filing of appropriate criminal charges against the owner of the smuggled shipments will be handled by the NBI.