Remove vessel with smuggled fuel in Pangasinan, BOC asked

Cesar Ramirez - The Philippine Star

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) should remove a vessel loaded with more than one million liters of smuggled fuel docked in Sual Bay, according to the Pangasinan provincial government.

“The ship should be moved to a safer location to protect the bay area from destruction in the event crude oil from the ship leaks,” Gov. Ramon Guico was quoted as saying in a post on the official Facebook page of the provincial government on Wednesday.

Provincial legal officer Baby Ruth Torre said she has written the BOC regarding the request of the provincial government.

Motor vessel Veronica I was placed under the custody of the BOC office in Sual after it was found to be carrying 1,350 kiloliters of smuggled fuel on May 4.

Guico called an emergency meeting on Monday during which the Maritime Industry Authority confirmed that the vessel was not issued a safety certificate.

Commander Mark Theodore Valencia, Philippine Coast Guard-Pangasinan station chief, said Veronica 1 should be allowed to dock at Sual Fish Port as a safety precaution for a super typhoon expected to enter the country this weekend.

“But it has to be ensured that the evidence, the contents of the ship, will be guarded,” Guico said even as he stressed that the ship should be eventually removed from the bay.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said no oil slick has been detected so far in the area.


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