Two shipments containing P10 million worth of allegedly smuggled red onions were seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in Manila, it said on Tuesday, July 20.
The shipments, which were originally declared by its consignee to contain only yellow onions from China, were discovered by the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) last July 9.
The consignee was identified to a certain Flevo Trading, which had already been apprehended by the CIIS-MICP for a similar offense.
MICP District Collector Romeo Allan Rosales said the CIIS received an information that the shipments consigned to Flevo Trading “could contain red onions without the required permits from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).”
Rosales then issued an Alert Order to subject the shipments to a 100-percent examination where it revealed that one of the shipments contained red onions.
After the examination, a Warrant of Seizure Detention was issued against the shipments.
According to the CIIS, red onions are regulated goods, thus, the consignees need the necessary permits and the goods should be properly declared.
In late June, the BOC also seized P10 million worth of red onions hidden in a shipment that was declared to contain ice cream.
The CIIS said the operation was part of the directives issued by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero to protect the country’s borders from illegal importation activities.