Last Sunday, the Philippines Bureau of Customs destroyed about P215 million (€2.25 mln) worth of smuggled cigarettes that were seized. Three 40-footer containers of illegally imported vegetables, such as onions, were also destroyed at a rendering facility in Porac, Pampanga on Friday.
According to Maritess Martin, BOC Subic District Collector, the operation was part of the agency’s intensified effort to protect the border and stop smuggling in the country. Officials of Subic Bay Freeport and representatives from PMFTC Inc., Japan Tobacco International, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and Bureau of Plant Industry were present at the condemnation.
Martin gave assurances that the BOC is intensifying border protection to stop smuggling, noting that smugglers are taking advantage of the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that they will continue to support the BOC and Commissioner Ray Guerrero’s program to intensify border protection and transparency to the public.