P11M in used clothes seized
Bryner L. Diaz and Decemay P. Padilla (The Freeman) - March 20, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Two men, one of them a South Korean national, were arrested, while P11 million worth of imported used clothing and shoes were seized by the National Bureau of Investigation-7 after it implemented a search warrant in a warehouse yesterday afternoon in Barangay Paknaan, Mandaue City.

Cecil Belocura, Mandaue Warehouse Park manager, and the respondent of the search warrant was arrested along with Jonghoi Goo, who is reportedly one of the owners of the warehouse.

The Korean failed to produce his passport when asked.

The raid came after Mandaue City Regional Trial Court Branch 1 Presiding Judge Rogelio Lucmayon issued a search warrant for the premises of Mandaue Warehouse Park for their alleged violation of Republic Act 4653.

RA 4653 bans the importation of used clothing to protect the health of the Filipinos and to preserve Filipino dignity.

Past 1 p.m. yesterday NBI-7 Assistant Regional Director Augusto Eric Isidoro led the operation that resulted in the confiscation of more than 400 bales of imported used clothing and 150 bales of shoes.

Belocura was also arrested after NBI agents found hundreds of bales of used clothing and shoes about to be unloaded from a container van and a mini dump truck.

Isidoro said that used clothing is bad for the health because it contains chemicals that are sometimes toxic.

He also said they do not want Cebu to be the garbage dump of used clothes from other countries.

Earlier, the NBI received information that some Koreans were importing used clothes to Cebu via Cagayan de Oro City. Before applying for the warrant The warehouse was placed under surveillance for two months. The NBI also conducted a “test buy” to confirm the presence of used clothes in the warehouse.

The NBI 7 also asked the help of the K-9 Unit of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-7 to check if any of the bales contained illegal drugs.

Belocura refused to comment when questioned by the media and the Korean said that he was just helping by looking after the bales and the delivery. Both of them were brought to NBI-7 for questioning and charges are set to be filed against them depending on their participation in the crime, if any.

The bales of used items will remain where they are for the meantime, the NBI said. — /BRP (FREEMAN)

ASSISTANT REGIONAL DIRECTOR AUGUSTO ERIC ISIDORO BARANGAY PAKNAAN BELOCURA CEBU CECIL BELOCURA DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY JONGHOI GOO MANDAUE CITY MANDAUE CITY REGIONAL TRIAL COURT BRANCH MANDAUE WAREHOUSE PARK USED
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