Lapeña exposes new modus to smuggle sugar into PH
Smuggles got more creative, but they were not smart enough.
Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña exposed a new strategy being used by smugglers in order to bring in sugar at lower taxes.
Instead of declaring the sugar shipments, the cargo brought in are instead declared as refractory mortar. These are granular substances like cement which are used for fireplaces, but weigh and look like sugar when in powder form.
In a statement, Lapeña said Customs personnel discovered 10 container vans at the Manila International Container Port which did this tactic, which was in violation of the Customs Code.
A consignee named Don Trading has been found to carry misdeclared sweeteners.
“I believe this importer is part of a cartel who hold the smuggled sugar and will only release the commodity once the market prices are high. One of the reasons why the prices of the basic commodities are high because the prices are manipulated,” Lapeña said.
What’s more, it was actually discovered that importers may have been colluding with a customs broker who had recommended the lifting of the alert order on these containers.
This sweet deal turned sour real quick!