By BETHEENA KAE UNITE
A SYNDICATE possibly behind the release of alerted shipments from the Bureau of Customs (BoC) has been discovered as the bureau stumbled upon 10 alerted container vans of sugar which were cleared for release despite suspicions yesterday.
A P15-million shipment belonging to Don Trading was put on hold by the bureau after the Customs chief received information that some containers have been misdeclared as sugar. Declared as refractory mortar, Don Trading has attempted to smuggle 5,000 sacks of sugar to the country.
Customs Chief Isidro Lapena said that the shipment was already recommended for lifting of alert order. However, when he received the document saying the shipment is cleared despite the intelligence report, he noticed that the signature is “purportedly forged.”
He then ordered the “reexamintaion of the shipment.” It turned out that the information was true that the container vans contained sugar. This bolstered the suspicion of the commissioner that the syndicate he has been hunting has finally surfaced.
“I think I had discovered a syndicate in this. This is a significant portion because pinapalusot nila, pinapalitaw na okay ‘yang mga shipment na ‘yan when in fact hindi pala,” Lapena said.
“And I will be making some people answer for this violation of law,” he added saying a full-blown investigation will immediately be launched to finally identify this notorious syndicate inside the bureau.
Lapena said that the 10 container vans under Don Trading were among the 28 container vans alerted and subjected to reaxamination at the Manila International Container Port. The 10 containers, he said, were alerted following information that sugar was inside the cargoes.
The shipment came from Thailand and arrived on July 13. The signing broker was named Ameloden Buruan Riga of Quiapo, Manila, and the company, Don Trading, was owned by a certain Dennis Orlanda Narra of Unit 411 4F La Maja Building, 459 Legaspi St., Intramuros, Manila.