Sinag bewails slow  action vs smugglers

May 21, 2017 at 8:46 pm Leave a comment


By Mortz C. Ortigoza
ROSALES – The chief of the anti-smuggling group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura lamented the snail-paced action of the government against those charged for smuggling of sugar in Zamboanga and rice in Manila.
There is no Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) ng Department of Finance yet, and the filing of the cases is delayed,said Sinag chair Rosendo So.
He said the DOF is still formulating the IRR of the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, a non-bailable crime, that would penalize a smuggler who  sneaks his shipment in two places.
“If an importer ships to Davao and to Poro Point, the shipment should be added to get the total volume shipment. It does not mean that if the shipment in each port is only P9.9 million , the smuggler is not liable for economic sabotage,” he said.

He said shipping through different ports should be considered as “series of importation.”
The law says smuggling of P10 million worth of rice and P1 million worth of other agricultural products are considered economic sabotage and arenon bailable.
 Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016 said that a penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of twice the fair value of the smuggled agricultural product and the aggregate amount of the taxes, duties and other charges avoided shall be imposed on any person who commits any of the acts enumerated under Section 3 of the Act. Section 3 cited the crime of large-scale agricultural smuggling as economic sabotage, involving sugar, corn, pork, poultry, garlic, onion, carrots, fish, and cruciferous vegetables, in its raw state, or which have undergone the simple processes of preparation or preservation for the market, with a minimum amount of one million pesos, or rice, with a minimum amount of ten million pesos, as valued by the Bureau of Custom.
Last year, Bantay Dagat’s operatives apprehended the crew of M/B Sitti Aini, loaded with 584 bags of refined sugar, in Barangay Taluksangay, Zamboanga City.
The crew of two other boats were nabbed by the operatives in the same place.
SINAG Chairman So added that the two illegal shipments of multi-million pesos of rice in Manila last August and November last year would be part of the criminal cases to be filed this month.
The 12 container vans carrying imported rice from China arrived at the South Harbor in the Port of Manila on August 20, 2016.
The consignor declared the contents are leatherette but were found by Customs officials to contain rice worth P20 million.
They were consigned to RPR International Trading in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
The other shipments of smuggled rice were discovered in November 7 and 13, 2016. The 26 shipping containers worth P40 million were apprehended at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).
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Entry filed under: News.

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