Climaco to Customs: Deputize police in fight vs rice smuggling Print
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 14:04

Mayor Beng Climaco has requested the Bureau of Customs (BoC) to deputize members of Zamboanga’s Finest in the fight against rampant smuggling of rice from neighboring countries.

Climaco’s request came on the heels of several reports wherein the local police had confiscated smuggled rice in the barangays only to be released because of jurisdiction issue.

The chief executive cited for instance the incident last Friday wherein one of the barangay chairpersons together with the police confiscated 300 sacks of smuggled rice.

She instructed the police to bring the contraband to the Bureau of Customs but the agency refused to accept the confiscated goods because the police in the first place were not authorized or deputized to do the seizure.

“I immediately sent message to Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña about this incident,” the mayor said during the press briefing yesterday.

As if Friday’s apprehension was not enough, Climaco said operatives of Police Station 6 in Tetuan on Sunday confiscated smuggled rice, this time 200 sacks.

The mayor said she had instructed the police come up with documentation report of their confiscation of smuggled goods and submit the same to the BoC.

She lamented that smuggling has become rampant in the city because the Customs is not doing its mandated duties.

As this developed, reports disclosed that Commissioner Lapeña has ordered several customs district collectors relieved (to include Halleck Valdez of Zamboanga City) due to rampant smuggling and irregularities in the performance of their duties in their respective areas of assignment.

“The cases of smuggled rice are still pending with the Customs. We appeal to and expected the Customs to act on those cases, and deputize the local police in the fight against illegal smuggling in the city,”-(Vic Larato)