Alleged NFA inspector denied access to rice bodegas in ZC PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 11:38

Rice traders in this city yesterday denied a self-proclaimed member of an anti-smuggling unit of the National Food Authority access to inspect their bodegas after he could not show to them any credential.

Camid Hamid,  who claimed to be a member-operative of the NFA anti-smuggling unit  in Manila yesterday afternoon visited some rice bodegas at Rojo Compound  in Sta Catalina where  he asked owners of their permit and other papers justifying that their rice stocks are not imported.

The traders said they refused to let Camid make inventory in their bodegas as he could not produce any document authorizing him to conduct such inspection of rice stocks.

They said Camid also asked for their papers coming from NFA and Bureau of Customs legalizing  their operations in this city.

In an interview, Camid told newsmen he is a member of the NFA anti-smuggling  unit in Manila and was sent to this city to conduct inspection of bodegas for imported rice stocks.

But traders, on the other hand, said Camid has not shown to them any document that clothes him  with  authority to conduct searches of imported rice in some bodegas at Rojo Compound in this city.

It was learned that Camid was allegedly demanding from rice traders P10,000  to P20,000  for every  wooden motorcraft that arrives here from the neighboring provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Camid was also reportedly threatening some rice traders in this city of confiscation of their rice stocks if his demand for protection money is not met.

The NFA in this city has also denied any knowledge of a task force formed by the food agency in Manila  and  was sent to this city  to  inspect bodegas of rice traders here.

NFA Zamboanga City Manager Gaudencio Nuega  said “we  don’t have Task Force NFA in this city and  in our NFA central office in Manila. Likewise, a section called anti-smuggling unit in Manila.”

“We were not even informed here that there is one existing. More  so, a member of the  unit has been sent to this city  to conduct some activities,”Nuega said.

Camid allegedly have already victimized several  rice traders in this city, threatening them of possible closure of their stores and confiscation of their rice stocks at their  bodegas should his demand for a weekly protection money is not met.

Hadji Alih said many rice traders from the two provinces have slowed down their trading activities to this city due to the presence of this  group.

Authorities in this city arenow  on  alert for the possible arrest  ofmembers of the group who will be caught in flagrante extorting money from  rice traders. — Nonoy E. Lacson