Warehouses storing smuggled rice raided in Las Piñas and Cavite

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TWO warehouses suspected of storing smuggled rice were raided by government forces in two separate areas last week.

The two warehouses, one in Pulang Lupa, Las Piñas, and another in Bacoor, Cavite, were verified to have been storing rice products from Vietnam, Thailand, and China, with an estimated value of P40 million.

During the investigation, it was discovered that the trader was selling a 25-kilo sack of Vietnamese Rice for P1,320.00 in the market, equivalent to P52.8 per kilo. This price significantly exceeded the prescribed price range of P41-45 per kilo for well-milled and regular-milled rice as prescribed by the Department of Agriculture.

A joint inspection led by the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), Port of Manila (POM), Legal Service, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), with support from barangay officials, conducted the raid in the two warehouses.

Prior to the inspection, an extensive investigation, surveillance, and test purchases were carried out.

The warehouse owner claimed that they were not importers but rather rice traders. In response, Customs operatives requested the owner to provide proofs of payment of correct duties and taxes from their supplier or importer.

Authorities granted the owner a 15-day period to submit the necessary documentation to validate the legality of the rice importation and payment of correct duties and taxes.

The operation was carried out in line with President Ferdinand Marcos’s directive to intensify efforts against rice smuggling, hoarding and illicit trading in the country, aimed at ensuring affordable staple food for Filipinos amidst rising rice prices.

(PHOTO CREDIT: BOC Facebook page)

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