ZAMBOANGA CITY - Seventeen trucks loaded with more than 2,000 sacks of suspected smuggled rice were seized in Barangay Baliwasan here, Monday.
Customs Collector Lyceo Martinez said they could not determine yet if the sacks of rice were illegally imported.
Initial investigation revealed that the rice was confiscated after the drivers failed to present pertinent documents.
But Martinez reiterated that the National Bureau of Investigation and the police have no authority to confiscate smuggled rice without proper coordination with their office.
He reiterated that he appreciates all the efforts made by other agencies against smuggling but added that they must follow the rules.
The Bureau of Customs will provide 15 days for the owner to claim the rice before placing the confiscated sacks under auction proceedings following the Customs Modernization Tariff Act.