The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized an estimated P9.746 billion worth of smuggled goods in 2020, its press release said yesterday.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said in his report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III that the BOC apprehended smuggled cigarettes and other tobacco products in 150 of the 792 operations conducted by the bureau in various ports in 2020.
“For the anti-smuggling effort of the BOC, the consolidated estimated value of seized shipments last year is P9.746 billion, of which P5.217 billion are from seizures of cigarettes and tobacco, P1.85 billion from drugs seizure, and P1.02 billion from counterfeit items,” Guerrero told Dominguez.
Aside from tobacco products and illegal drugs, the BOC also seized P32.59 million worth of various currencies, general merchandise worth P403.89 million, vehicles and automobile accessories valued at P354.53 million, and agricultural products amounting to about P207.7 million.
He said the BOC also seized personal protective equipment, medical supplies and cosmetics, P195.57 million, jewelry and other products – P69 million, foodstuff – P212 million, used clothing – P130.59 million, electronics goods – P31.07 million, steel products – P4.76 million, alcoholic beverages – P2.43 million, chemicals – P5 million, and firearms – P300,000.
From Jan. 1 to Dec. 28 last year, Guerrero said the BOC filed 74 criminal complaints before the Department of Justice against 268 respondents suspected of smuggling, and another 52 administrative cases before the Professional Regulation Commission. As of Dec. 4, the BOC also ordered the closure of 20 customs-bonded warehouses and 40 members of customs common bonded warehouses for various violations, Guerrero added.*