Customs police don’t have strength to fight smuggling PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 07 February 2015 14:45

The Bureau of Customs’ Zamboanga District Customs Police have no seacraft assets and capabilities to conduct regular inspection and check-up of the almost 100 private wharves in Zamboanga City where smuggling activities may have been happening for a long time.

BoC Zamboanga District Customs Police chief Sammy Labay said his command does not have enough personnel to conduct regular inspection and check-up or detail Customs Police Officers in the almost 100 private wharves.

Labay explained that the areas of jurisdiction of Bureau of Customs Zamboanga District is vast. It starts in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte,  going down to Zamboanga City and up to Pagadian City,  in addition to Basilan, Sulu and Tawi- Tawi.

“That is why the BoC Commissioner has to deputize the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard to enforce Customs laws.  BoC needs two speedboats and 30 Customs Police personnel to conduct regular inspection and check-up of the almost 100 private wharves in Zamboanga City,” Labay said.

Last week, the Philippine Navy recovered an estimated 28,000 sacks of imported rice in Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay. The seized rice cargo was turned over to the Bureau and deposited at the Philippine Ports Authority warehouse at the Zamboanga City port, Labay said.

Labay said the 28,000 sacks of smuggled rice should be auctioned within six months before it will rot and become unfit for human consumption.

The BoC Zamboanga District is expecting two speedboats from BoC central office to be use for operations. — Allen Abastillas