SMUGGLED SUGAR. The Department of Agriculture (DA) intensifies efforts against agricultural smuggling in the country, as it seized an illegal sugar shipment at the Port of Subic on Thursday (March 2, 2023). During the operation, authorities seized more than PHP150 million worth of smuggled sugar. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Agriculture)

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture's Inspectorate and Enforcement Office (DA-IE) bared on Tuesday the confiscation of over PHP150 million worth of smuggled sugar.

In a statement, the DA said it worked with various agencies to secure the seizure of the shipment, consigned to JB8 Consumer Goods Trading.

"The containers, which measure 20 feet each, were found to contain 30,160 bags of refined sugar. At PHP100/kilogram, the cargo with a total weight of 1,508,000 kilograms, is valued at PHP150.8 million," it said.

Government agencies have conducted the confiscation after the inspection of 58 container vans last Thursday at the Port of Subic.

“The operation conducted on March 2, 2023, in partnership with the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), resulted to the seizure of the said shipment,” the DA added.

Following the seizure, agriculture authorities shall file criminal charges against JB8 Consumer Goods Trading.

These charges include the alleged “misdeclaration and misclassification of the shipment,” a violation of Republic Act No. 10611 or the Food Safety Act, and Republic Act No. 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act.

Under the Marcos administration, the DA vowed to intensify efforts to combat smuggling which is considered as an economic sabotage. (PNA)