Mayor calls for proper inventory of seized rice

Mayor Beng Climaco called on the Bureau of Customs (BoC) yesterday to conduct proper inventory and safety of alleged smuggled rice seized by authorities Sunday night at Petron wharf, Baliwasan Seaside.

Climaco proceeded to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) wharf yesterday morning and coordinated with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) together with the BoC to conduct the necessary inventory of alleged smuggled rice loaded on 17 vans.

At the same time, the chief executive reiterated her stand to ensure that Zamboanga City will be cleared of any and all smuggling activities, given Pres. Duterte’s directive against rice hoarding at this time of instability of rice stocks in the country.

On Sunday night, elements of Police Station 11, Mobile Patrol Group and Task Force Zamboanga, while conducting joint checkpoint, responded to NBI’s request for backup security for operation at Petron wharf, Baliwasan Seaside.

Upon entry to the wharf, the authorities apprehended the drivers of 17 vans loaded with sacks of rice believed to have been smuggled from other country.

Climaco said the apprehended drivers and the 17 vans loaded with alleged smuggled rice were turned over to the BoC, however, she wanted the proper inventory and security of the seized items to prevent anomaly.

To recall, authorities apprehended last week several sacks of dried seahorse approximately P3 million due for export. The items were turned over to the BoC, but “miraculously” disappeared from the agency’s warehouse days after turnover. The items remain missing until now.

Thus, the mayor stressed that the newly apprehended smuggled rice should be well inventoried and secured to prevent disappearance.-(Vic Larato)