THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) seized illegal goods worth P19.95 billion in the first eight months, with fake items making up the majority.
The agency on Friday said the goods were confiscated during 615 operations from Jan. 1 to Aug. 23 from illegal shipments of narcotics, counterfeit goods, cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Fake items made up three-fourths of the value of the seized smuggled goods at P15 billion, followed by illegal drugs worth P1.88 billion. In the same period, the BoC also confiscated smuggled cigarettes and other tobacco products worth P1.23 billion.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero reported to the Finance department that the BoC also confiscated other smuggled goods including general merchandise (P887.61 million), agricultural products (P267.27 billion), and used clothing (P56.63 million).
The BoC likewise seized P290 million in currency, jewelry, fuel, chemicals, and steel products. Other items include cosmetics, personal protective equipment and other medical supplies (P182.49 million), vehicles and accessories (P77.54 million), firearms (P40.12 million); electronic parts and products (P23.55 million); alcoholic beverages (P3.91 million); and wildlife and natural resources (P3.81 million).
The BoC said filed 67 criminal cases from Jan. 1 to Aug. 27 with the Department of Justice against 217 respondents suspected for participation in smuggling activities. The agency also filed 48 administrative cases against customs brokers before the Professional Regulation Commission.
The Customs bureau in August collected P54.05 billion in duties and taxes, going beyond the P53.06-billion goal for the month amid better valuation and higher volume of imports.
From January to August, BoC’s collections rose 19% to P412.96 billion from P347.29 billion a year earlier. The bureau’s collections are expected to reach P616.75 billion this year. — LWTN