65 BOC personnel under probe in connection with questionable rice importation in several ports in 2013

March 15, 2014 8:35 am 

MANILA, March 14 — More than 60 assessors and examiners are being investigated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in connection with the alleged illegal entry of rice shipments in the country last year.

Commissioner John Sevilla said that the 65 customs employees from the initial count of 18 are being investigated for negligence, which is an administrative offense but they have not been suspended.

"They have not been proven guilty. There will be due process," Sevilla said.

Last week, he submitted the 47 names to the intelligence division under Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group (IG) Jessie Dellosa, aside from the initial 18 personnel he submitted last Feb. 18.

The probe is being conducted in connection with the rice importations of five importers in 2013, namely Silent Royalty Marketing, Bold Bidder Marketing and General Merchandise, Starcraft International Trading, Inter-Continental Gains, and Medaglia de Oro Trading.

The 18 BOC employees were assigned at the Port of Manila (POM) and the Manila International Container Port (MICP) while the 47 others are from Davao, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro, and the sub-port of Mindanao Container Terminal in Phividec, Tagoloan in Misamis Oriental.

The BOC chief estimated that over 200,000 metric tons of rice entered the country without import permit.

Sevilla noted that the next stage of the investigation will involve the rice importations in all the ports.

"All the ports in the Philippines, regardless of what port, that receive (questionable) rice importations would be under investigation," he added. (PNA)

SCS/PR/RSM

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