BUREAU of Customs officials seized some 1,147 bags of allegedly illegally imported white onions worth P1.95M in Tondo, Manila, on Sunday.
The smuggled onions were discovered at a storage facility in the DNR Building on Sto. Cristo Street in Tondo, according to the BOC statement.
The BOC’s operating team discovered the white onions while examining the building’s grounds. A Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Plant Industry member said the onions were smuggled in without a valid permit.
According to the BOC, the seized white onions were given to the DA-BPI team and taken to the BPI’s facility in Malate, Manila.
But the search team could not locate the building owner or administration. The barangay councilors accepted the letter of authority on their behalf in order to conduct search operations.
On Saturday, the DA also reported that the department confiscated a total of 100,000 kilos or 100 metric tons of “misdeclared” white onions at the Manila International Container Port.
The items were labeled as bread and pastries, according to the DA.
“During the probe, the team found out that the shipment containing sacks of yellow onions was misdeclared as “bread/pastries.” The discrepancy in the import documents of said shipments presupposes that it did not undergo any food safety regulations,” said the DA.
DA Assistant Secretary James Layug said that the smuggled onions “pose a great risk” to the consumers. Currently, the price of onions in the market ranges from P300-P400.
These may endanger the local agriculture and fishing businesses since containers may carry transboundary diseases, he said.
Photo Credit: Bureau of Customs