Photo of seized containers

The Sub Task Group on Economic Intelligence (STG-EI) composite team led by the Department of Agriculture, Assistant Secretary Federico E. Laciste Jr., successfully seized eighteen (18) 40-foot reefer containers of technically smuggled agricultural products at Port of Cagayan De Oro with estimated value of P54-M.

The said containers were under consignee R2H Trading declared as various importable products such as crustaceans, acidified cream, breaded shrimp, flavored nuts, curdled cream milk, smoked crawfish, and bread improver but were found out to be misdeclared red onions upon physical inspection by the STG-EI composite team from DA, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Office X, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), DA-Regional Office X, Plant Quarantine Service Regional Office X, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Field Office X, together with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Inspectorate team led by Port of Cagayan De Oro (CDO) Collector for Administration, Atty. Roswald Pague. The said shipments do not have the required Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance (SPS-IC) which is a mandatory requirement to ensure that the agricultural products are not health hazards and are free from harmful pests.

Photo of the red onions in the container

STG-EI Alternate Chair and DTI-CPG Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo wrote a letter request to BOC Commissioner Rey Guerrero after receiving information that the said shipments contained smuggled agricultural products which to the immediate action of the STG-EI Operation Team after the letter request was approved by Commissioner Guerrero.

This successful operation initiated by the STG-EI, with the support of BOC, is part of the relentless effort of the taskforce to curb smuggling of agricultural products, secure the welfare of farmers and fisherfolks and at the same time, protection of consumers.

The inspection was witnessed by DA-R10 Exec Director Carlene Collado and Regional Technical Director Carlota Madriaga, DTI-R10 OIC Regional Director Ermedio Abang, BPI-Plant Quarantine Services (PQS) R10 Chief Manuel Barradas, BFAR – Fisheries Inspection and Quarantine Service (FIQS) R10 Migs Lim, representative from NICA R10, and BOC Port of CDO led by Collector for Admin Atty Roswald Pague, Chief CIIS Oliver Valiente and other members of the inspectorate team. ♦

Date of Release: 11 November 2021