The Bureau of Customs has started conducting profiling of suspected smugglers as it started a renewed crackdown against smuggling activities, particularly those related to agriculture products.
Acting BOC Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz said the profiling of suspected smugglers is a preventive measure to suppress their illegal activities, especially that agriculture smuggling has been affecting the local farmers and their livelihood.
“This will be complemented with intensified intelligence and enforcement operations and consistent examination and inspection of containers in various ports of entry nationwide,” said Ruiz.
“We are also currently conducting administrative investigations against BOC officials and personnel allegedly involved in illegal and irregular activities,” he added.
Ruiz issued the statement after he met with the League of Associations of La Trinidad Vegetables to discuss measures to suppress agricultural smuggling that heavily affects the local farmers.
Yesterday, Manuel Lamata, chairman of the United Sugar Producers Federation (UNiFED), assured the Commissioner of the full support of the biggest sugar bloc in the country during a video call to the Commissioner. Edgardo Lomanog Jr, chief of the sugar anti-smuggling organization, likewise expressed full cooperation with the BOC in addressing the problem of sugar smuggling during a courtesy call.
Ruiz said the BOC also is closely coordinating with the Department of Agriculture (DA) on the enhanced inter-agency data exchange in validating shipments and strengthened derogatory and intelligence information coordination.
He added that the BOC also implements the mandatory inspection of all reefer containers before their transfer to the DA-accredited cold storage facility.
The Electronic Tracking of Containerized Cargoes (ETRACC) system is also in effect to ensure the safe transit and transfer of agricultural goods.