Consumer goods trader files extortion case vs Customs aide | Inquirer Business
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Consumer goods trader files extortion case vs Customs aide

/ 07:05 PM October 13, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—An international trader of consumer goods filed before the Office of the Ombudsman charges against an administrative aide at the Bureau of Customs for allegedly asking for as much as P200,000 in bribe to facilitate the release of shipments.

The Department of Finance’s Revenue Integrity Protection Service said in a statement that Flor Tagle, an import and export consultant for Prima Modas Inc., sought help from the DOF’s anti-graft unit to establish the case against Paulino Elevado IV.

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Prima Modas is a Las Piñas City-based supplier of various goods such as textiles, yarns, fabric and household items.

Citing Tagle’s four-page complaint filed last Friday, DOF-RIPS said the complainant accused Elevado of denying the entry of Prima Modas’ shipment from China last March despite “favorable endorsement from the Office of the Commissioner.”

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Tagle said the shipment that included gummed paper, hair accessories and men’s slippers, among others,  passed the inspection conducted by the Bureau of Customs’ Run After The Smugglers (RATS) program, and was cleared for release last March 28.

“When our papers were forwarded to the Office of the District Collector, Port of Manila, a certain Paulino Elevado met me in his office in said port and informed us that before our entry papers could get the endorsement of the district collector, we were required to give P200,000 or P100,000.00 without the snacks,” Tagle said.

The amount of money demanded “is quite big and has no legal basis, as such, our company did not agree,” the complaint said further.

“I pleaded for understanding, but he (Elevado) said ‘Kung wala ‘yung hinihingi ko, huwag na tayong mag-usap (If you cannot give the money I am asking, I will not talk to you anymore for the release of your shipment),” it added.

Tagle then sought the help of Transportation Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, who referred her to the DOF-RIPS.

Based on the DOF-RIPS’ investigation, there was probable cause to charge Elevado for trying to extort P200,000 in exchange for the signature of the district collector of Port of Manila.

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TAGS: Bureau of Customs, Consumer goods, extortion charges, Office of the Ombudsman, Prima Modas Inc.
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