An estimated P19 million sugar shipment was seized at the Manila International Container Port on Wednesday, the agriculture department said.

The seizure of the illegal shipment, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA), has put an end to the illegal operation of smugglers operating in one of the National Capital Region’s (NCR) international cargo entry points.

The five-container cargo shipment was placed on hold on November 29, 2022, at the request of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for the DA Inspectorate and Enforcement (DA I&E).

It was revealed during the inspection of the DA-IE, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Customs Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force (CAIDTF), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and Customs Intelligence & Investigation Services (CIIS), that the cargo initially declared as insulators, surge arresters, slippers outsoles, and styrene butadiene rubber were actually refined cane sugar.

According to Assistant Secretary James Layug, DA is now preparing to file legal charges against the shipment’s consignee — Burias Jang Consumer Goods Trading– for the misdeclaration and misclassification of the shipment as both the Food Safety Act of 2013 (Republic Act No. 10611) and the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016 (Republic Act No. 10845) were violated.

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