Soy bean oil trader, broker face smuggling raps

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2012 01:16 PM | Updated as of Jun 28 2012 09:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A trader and his customs broker were charged for technical smuggling before the Department of Justice (DOJ) by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for alleged unlawful importation of soy bean oil worth P18 million.

The respondents were identified as Christian M. Adan, owner-proprietor of Sea Probe Trading,  and his broker, Homer P. Aquino.

The complaint alleged that Adan and Aquino brought into the country 15x20 containers of refined, bleached and deodorized soy bean oil from Malaysia through the Manila International Container Port (MICP) on March 1.

Sea Probe Trading allegedly tried to make windfall profits and evaded payment of the appropriate customs duties by declaring the shipment as FR-U, a commodity with zero tariff under the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA).

Sea Probe Trading should have paid a 7-percent rate of duties for the shipment.

Instead, the company allegedly undervalued the shipment by $232,685 (roughly P10 million). The company also allegedly used a fake AFTA certification from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia.

Respondents have yet to receive copies of the complaint.

The case is the 38th smuggling case filed by the bureau's Run After the Smugglers (RATS) group under the administration of Commissioner Ruffy Biazon.