CARNIVOROUS PLANTS BUSTED. A box containing Cephalotus (Australian pitcher plant), is among the carnivorous plants busted by officers of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in a cargo warehouse in Pasay City on July 5, 2021. The collection and trade of carnivorous plants in the country are restricted under Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. | Photo courtesy of BOC

A total of 276 imported carnivorous plants with a retail value of P150,000 were confiscated from a cargo warehouse in Pasay City by officials from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) earlier this week.

The BOC said Wednesday that Drosera (sundew), Nepenthes (tropical pitcher), Dionaea (Venus flytrap), Sarracenia (trumpet pitcher), Pinguicula (butterworts), and Cephalotus (Australian pitcher) were found on physical inspection of 10 shipments sent from the Netherlands on July 5.

Verification with the DENR showed that the plants were illegally brought into the country, with no necessary sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance and CITES permission from the agency.

The BOC added that the intercepted packages were subsequently turned over to the DENR for rehabilitation and care pursuant to Section 11 of Republic Act 9147 (Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act) and Section 1147 of Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and Section 8 of Customs Administrative Order No. 10-2020.

Case records of the subject shipment will likewise be referred to the Bureau Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS), Legal Service of the BOC for further case build-up and prosecution for violation of Section 1401 of the CMTA.

Carnivorous plants have already been globally declared as critically endangered and are among the world’s rarest and most endangered plants.

The collection and trade of these insect-eating plants are restricted under RA 9147. (PNA)

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