MANILA – Authorities have found around 57,000 sacks of imported sugar from Thailand in a warehouse in Quezon City, as part of the government's exercise of visitorial powers amid the rising prices of the commodity.
Officers from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the military discovered on Tuesday the sacks of the sweetener in a warehouse, a press release Saturday showed.
These are worth an estimated P285 million, authorities said. The BOC added that each sack, weighing about 50 kilos, has an estimated price of P5,000.
"The composite team and the customs examiners conduct a routinary inventory and inspection of incoming goods," the statement read.
"Clearances from the Sugar Regulatory Administration covering the goods are also validated by the team."
The government continues to ramp up the inspection of warehouses nationwide, as the country wrestles with the sugar supply shortage. Malacañang earlier said it is looking into whether or not the shortage was "artificial."
On Friday, around 350,000 sacks of sugar, most of which are imported, were found in three warehouses in Silang town, Cavite.
All the bags of refined sugar were identified for industrial use, but 36,000 sacks were found to be for local use but have been allotted to industrial users.
Last week, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) found some 44,000 sacks of suspected smuggled sugar, with an estimated value of P220 million, in warehouses in Pampanga and Bulacan.
In a separate operation that week, the BOC said it seized 140,000 bags of white refined sugar with total tax payment valued at P45.6 million at the Port of Subic.
As a result of that operation, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said 6 Customs officials were sacked pending the results of the investigation regarding the possibility of conniving with illegal sugar smugglers.