Criminal complaints filed against importers for illicit importation of chemicals, used helicopters

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) formally lodged two criminal complaints with the Department of Justice against importers engaged in the illicit importation of chemicals and used helicopters, along with associated parts.

In August 2023, a shipment, declared to contain 652 drums of Molybdate from the United Kingdom, arrived at the Port of Manila. However, upon inspection, it was revealed that the shipment actually contained steel drums filled with Sodium Cyanide at a purity level of 98%, originating from China. Notably, this hazardous cargo has led to the implicated importer facing one count of violation of Section 1401 (e) in connection with Sections 1400 and 117 of Republic Act No. 10863, commonly known as the Customs Modernization Tariff Act (CMTA); Republic Act (R.A) 6969, the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990; and Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order No. 39, Series of 1997, the Chemical Control Order for Cyanide and Cyanide Compounds.

In a separate incident, a shipment that arrived at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) in May 2023 was declared to contain surplus helicopter components. However, upon inspection, it was revealed to contain two (2) units of used helicopters along with associated parts.

The consignee involved in this case is now facing one (1) count of violation of Section 1401 (e) and Section 1400 in connection with Section 1113 of the CMTA.

From January 2023 to date, the BOC has filed 87 criminal complaints with the DOJ, underscoring the bureau’s unwavering commitment in safeguarding the country’s border against smugglers and illicit activities.

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