Petronas charged with P1.058B smuggling complaint

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2011 02:10 PM | Updated as of Sep 22 2011 10:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines - An officer of mining, quarrying and oil firm Petronas Energy Philippines, Inc. and several customs brokers were charged with violations of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines before the Department of Justice(DOJ) on Thursday for alleged unlawful importation of various petroleum products with a total dutiable value of P1.058 billion.

This is the first smuggling case filed by the Bureau of Customs(BOC) under its new Commissioner Ruffy Biazon.

In a news conference at the DOJ this morning, Biazon listed the respondents in the case:
- Evelyn Taneo, chief financial officer of Petronas;
- Jerilee Conlu, customs broker;
- Carlos Barte, customs broker;
- Dennis Ayong, customs broker;
- Edgar Rey Gallana, Jr., customs broker; and
- several "John" and "Jane Does."

According to the complaint, Petronas made several importations of various petroleum products at the Port of Cebu, Port of Iloilo and Sub-port of Iligan covered by 51 import entries minus the required Load Port Survey.

"There being no Load Port Surveys, all the foregoing shipments that arrived at the aforestated ports are considered high-risk, should not have been released from the BOC and should have remained in customs custody," the complaint read.

Biazon said this was verified by the BOC's Run After the Smugglers(RATS) group.

Confirmation was also done through an audit/compliance report, he said.