Philippines Bureau of Customs raids warehouse, discovers suspected smuggled seafood
The Philippines’ Bureau of Customs raided seven warehouses in Navotas City, the Philippines on 17 March, discovering approximately PHP 120 million ( USD 2.2 million, EUR 2 million) worth of suspected smuggled frozen seafood and poultry.
According to the Philippine News Agency, the frozen seafood was smuggled from China, and the smuggled poultry came from Brazil, Australia, the U.S., and Russia.
The Philippines Bureau of Customs said in a statement it went to the warehouses to implement letters of authority issued by commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, with Philippines Chief of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Alvin Encisco leading the group.
“This is outstanding work by our law enforcement officers and our bureau personnel. I understand how much effort and commitment it takes to inspect all these warehouses in just one day. It also goes to show how important proper coordination is among government agencies because these operations won’t be possible without it,” Rubio said in a statement.
Encisco’s team found products including golden pompano, pangasius fillets, fish tofu, boneless pork ham, frozen pork legs, chicken drumsticks, pork spare ribs, squid rings, crayfish, pork ears, pork hinges, bologna, brawley beef, pork aorta, chicken feet, and pork riblets.
Authorities said they also found an empty warehouse that had been converted into a cold storage facility.
“Our officers have once more shown their diligence to target, detect, and intercept potential threats to our people’s economic activities. This is just one of the ways how the bureau protects the public – by keeping these products away from consumers and thus safeguarding the livelihoods of those who go through the proper legal process of bringing in imported goods,” Rubio said.
Operations were led by the country's DA-Inspectorate and Enforcement Office, National Meat Inspection Service, and Philippine Coast Guard.
Photo courtesy of the Philippines' Bureau of Customs