MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The Bureau of Customs (BOC) filed smuggling charges before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday against a trader for alleged smuggling of P30 million worth of garlic.
Customs Commissioner John Sevilla bared that respondent Aiza C. Salise, owner of Good Earth Merchandise, is being charged in connection with the seizure of over 101 metric tons or 101,460 kilos of garlic allegedly smuggled from Hong Kong.
The two separate shipments of garlic allegedly arrived at the Port of Batangas last June 1 and 12 from Hong Kong.
The garlic, packed in 10-kilogram bags and loaded in four 40-footer container vans, were declared as "raw materials for chocolate."
The shipment also did not have a phytosanitary clearance as mandated by the Department of Agriculture.
The shipment will undergo forfeiture proceedings in favor of the government.
The seized garlic may be sold in the local market to help temper the high cost of the commodity.
Salise's licensed customs broker, Antonio Castro Enriquez, was also charged.