Customs tightens watch in smuggling hotspots
Zinnia Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) - May 8, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Customs (BOC) wants to tighten monitoring of goods in areas believed to be hotspots for smugglers.

A BOC official has recommended the permanent deployment of its personnel to areas with confirmed presence of smuggled goods to detect and deter illicit activities which have deprived the government of billions of pesos in revenue.

Joenel Pogoy, team leader of the BOC’s Special Studies and Project Development Committee (SSPDC) proposed to port operation services director James Layug the permanent deployment of teams that will continuously monitor the movements of suspected smugglers across major borders.

“Our problem right now is that once we have confirmed the exact location of smuggled goods, our team needs to report back to our base and prepare for the raid, which gives the smugglers a time to haul out and transfer their illegal goods,” Pogoy said.

“Now, my recommendation to my superior is for us to have a permanent team in key areas where smugglers are confirmed operating for better intel and faster response to significant derogatory information,” he added.

Pogoy’s recommendation came after the SSPDC seized over P100,000 worth of cigarette packs allegedly affixed with fake tax stamps of the Bureau of Internal Revenue  in Koronadal, South Cotabato.

Initial intelligence information gathered by the SSPDC showed that the warehouses controlled by the New Amigo Commercial and RV trading Corp. were storing about P100 million worth of cigarettes with fake tax stamps.

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