By Betheena Kae Unite
About 125, 000 sacks of rice, suspected to have been smuggled into the country, were found in seven warehouses in Marilao, Bulacan during a raid Tuesday, the Bureau of Customs bared.
The sacks of rice, with an estimated value of P300 million, were discovered in seven warehouses located at the Federal Corporation (FedCor) Compound in Barangay Ibayo, Marilao, Bulacan.
According to the bureau, operatives from the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) and Philippine National Police (PNP) conducted the raid, following an information obtained that large quantities of smuggled rice were being stashed inside the compound.
They later found that of the 11 warehouses inside the compound, seven were used to store rice, which according to investigation, may have been imported from Thailand, China, and India.
Customs authorities, however, are waiting for the warehouse owners, lessee or the owner of the imported goods to present proof that payment of duties and taxes has been made for the imported rice.
Confirmation on whether the rice were smuggled or not was still being determined by Customs agents.
In case the importers fail to present pertinent documents that the importation was legal, the rice will be seized by the Customs bureau and will be auctioned off once the National Food Authority determines the rice stash is safe for consumption.
The owners will also be summoned to explain why they have been storing large quantities of rice despite current problems on rice in the country.