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Metro

NBI asks Ombudsman: Probe 21 BOC execs

- Sandy Araneta - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has asked Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to investigate 21 officials and employees of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for allegedly allowing the release of 20 shipping containers without inspecting them, defrauding the government of P1.4 million in duties and taxes.

The NBI recommended that the Ombudsman investigate Filomeno Vicencio Jr.; former director of the Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Section and current Intelligence Group officer-in-charge; former Intelligence Division chief Fernandino Tuazon; former CIIS officer-in-charge Marina Rae Galang; CIIS attorney Floro Calixihan Jr.; former Port of Batangas district collector Juan Tan; Assessment Division acting chief Leonardo Peralta and Ports Operations Division chief Felix Embalsamado.

Among those the NBI also recommended for investigation were Customs brokers Araceli Arellano and Diosdado Bagon; Customs representative Ariel Dionisio; importers Loida Jalimao and Wilson Werba; seven employees of Zoom Cargo Base Forwarders; five employees of ACA International Forwarding; and two warehouse owners.

No inspection

According to NBI Supervising Agent Madrino de Jesus, the alleged crimes occurred from February 2011 to June 2011 in Manila and Batangas.

He said the cases arose from alert orders issued by Galang to Vicencio involving 20 shipping containers – initially consigned to Zoom Cargo Base Forwarders at the BF Condominium building in Intramuros, Manila – because the 20-footer containers were allegedly undervalued, misclassified or misdeclared.

Though the containers were never examined, they were immediately loaded into various trucks and delivered to their designated destinations as soon as the alert orders were lifted, De Jesus said.

De Jesus said these deliveries were confirmed by the truck drivers in their statements given to the NBI as well as the documentary evidence submitted.

He said the accused BOC personnel did not bother to check the status of the shipping containers, which had been the subjects of alert orders, and they did not prepare the necessary post-examination report.

Covering their tracks

De Jesus alleged that in an effort to cover up the anomalies, the BOC personnel issued a progress report through a memorandum stating that as of June 6, 2011, “no importer/customs broker has surfaced to follow-up status relative to the alerted vans.”

“This is the last-ditch effort on the part of the concerned to conceal their transgressions and misdemeanors and to further mislead any investigation being undertaken to unearth the truth,” he said.

The brokers and consignees submitted documents as attachments and documentary support for the release of the 20 shipping containers to make it appear that everything was legal, according to De Jesus.

“They (brokers and consignees) even submitted bond for transit cargo documents supposedly signed by a certain Manolito del Rosario of MG Villacorte Trading,” he said, but noted that Del Rosario died in September 2009. “A clear case of falsification committed by Arellano, Jalimao, Werba, Zoom Cargo and ACA International Employees.”

He said further verification revealed that the broker for the shipment was Arellano and it was consigned to Sea Eagle Trading in San Jose, Batangas City.

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ARACELI ARELLANO AND DIOSDADO BAGON

ARELLANO

ARIEL DIONISIO

ASSESSMENT DIVISION

BATANGAS CITY

BUREAU OF CUSTOMS

CRIMINAL INTELLIGENCE AND INVESTIGATION SECTION

DE JESUS

DEL ROSARIO

FELIX EMBALSAMADO

ZOOM CARGO BASE FORWARDERS

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