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(Firm stand vs smuggling: ) Beng orders full probe on missing trucks of rice

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Mayor Beng Climaco has ordered a full investigation into the disappearance of 10 trucks loaded with suspected smuggled sugar and rice earlier intercepted in a police checkpoint downtown, as she expressed disappointment over repetition of similar incidences.

The mayor said she has tasked City Police Director PSSupt. Neri Vincent Ignacio to probe into the circumstances that led to the disappearance of the trucks after the Bureau of Customs reportedly refused to accept the same.

Based on report, the 10 trucks were intercepted by police authorities while conducting checkpoint at the Baliwasan seaside due to lack of documents. The matter was reported to the Bureau of Customs for custody of the trucks but accordingly the latter refused to accept the goods due to lack of prior coordination.

The police decided to place the trucks with the cargoes in a holding compound of a private wharf in Baliwasan where the trucks allegedly came from. However, a few hours later, the trucks and the cargoes were discovered missing.

Initially, the police leadership relieved the team that was responsible for the apprehension, pending investigation of the case.

“This is the same old story,” the mayor said in an interview. “We will have it fully investigated including the policemen who intercepted the trucks will also undergo investigation.”

The mayor said she will have to confer with local Customs officials to discuss matters about smuggling vis-à-vis the City Government’s all-out campaign against the illegal activity in support of President Duterte’s advocacy.

Over a year ago, the mayor was also disgusted with reports that thousands of suspected smuggled rice and sugar were found missing from the Bureau of Customs warehouse.

The mayor has made representations with Customs officials in Manila to issue guidelines and policies on the matter of apprehension and seizure of suspected smuggled goods by police authorities and even by barangay officials. (Sheila Covarrubias/PR)




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