Suspected garlic smugglers face raps

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

SMUGGLING charges were filed on Thursday by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) against a trading firm and its custom broker in relation to the illegal importation of garlic worth P30 million.

Facing complaints at the Department of Justice (DOJ) for violation of Section 3601 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and Presidential Decree 1433 are Aiza Salise, owner of Good Earth Merchandise based in Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City and broker Antonio Enriquez.

The questionable shipment involves 101 metric tons or 101,460 kilograms of garlic from Hong Kong that was apprehended by the BOC at the Port of Batangas on June 1 and June 12.

The BOC said the contraband was declared as "cocoa beans to be used
as raw material for chocolate."

The seizure of the smuggled garlic came after its retail price jumped to P300 a kilo, from the usual P60 to P90 per kilo, as the government blamed unscrupulous traders for creating an artificial shortage to justify the price hike.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) earlier assured the public that garlic prices will stabilize this month. (Sunnex)

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