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P27-M of illegal sugar is seized by the DA

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) continued its stepped-up battle against agricultural items trafficked on Friday, seizing refined sugar worth a total of PHP27.3 million this month.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for DA Inspectorate and Enforcement (DA-IE) conducted a series of operations at the Manila International Container Port (MICP), according to a statement from the DA. “The shipments consigned to Kanluran Consumer Goods Trading that originated from China were seized,” the statement read.

It claimed that for the anti-smuggling operations, the DA-IE collaborated with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the DA-Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Through their operations, smuggled refined sugar that was discovered in 11 container vans was seized.

On February 15 and 16, a number of anti-smuggling operations were carried out, resulting in the seizure of refined white sugar valued at PHP19.84 million from eight container vans.

Also, some shipments were falsely declared in an effort to gain entry into the nation.

On February 6, when they checked three container vans, they found refined white sugar instead of the motorcycle parts they had claimed to be carrying, according to the DA.

As a result of the suspected misdeclaration and misclassification of the shipment, the DA will file criminal proceedings against the shipment’s consignee for violation of Republic Act No. 10611, or the Food Safety Act of 2013, in the meanwhile.

Charges for violations of the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016 (Republic Act No. 10845) will also be brought, it stated.

James Layug, the assistant secretary, indicated that the physical inspection of some shipments is still pending.

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