BOC charges 2 traders with smuggling
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday filed in the Department of Justice smuggling-related cases against two traders and their brokers over the alleged illegal importation from China of steel products worth over P3.98 million.
Newly appointed Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina said in a press conference that Thunder Birds Trading owner Shine Montes and Sagfern International Trading owner Judy Fernandez would be charged with violations of Sections 3602 and 2503 of the Tariff and Customs code of the Philippines, and Articles 171, 172 and 183 of the Revised Penal Code.
Also slapped with the same charges were Customs brokers Arnel Asuncion and Lea Larrochea.
According to the BOC, the two companies attempted to smuggle four container vans of steel products with a total dutiable value of P3.22 million from which duties and taxes amounting to P755,642 should have been collected.
Lina said Thunder Birds Trading, based in Escolata, Manila, imported in January 2014 three 20-foot container vans declared as “corrugated sheets, steel sheets, clamp, flexible hinges” but were found to contain corrugated steel sheets.
Thunder Birds Trading also “grossly misdeclared” the weight and value of their imported shipments to evade the payment of correct taxes. It initially declared the shipments as weighing 8,546 kilograms with a dutiable value of only P223,457.24. Customs inspectors, however, found out the products actually weighed 75,300 kg with a total dutiable value of P2.427 million.
The Quezon City-based Sagfern, on the other hand, imported in December 2013 a container van of coiled steel sheets that the company allegedly misdeclared as “gypsum board.” The firm also “grossly undervalued” its shipment by writing P233,016, versus the actual dutiable value of P798,580.91, according to the BOC.
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