Bureau of Customs Legazpi Auctions Smuggled Rice from Vietnam. The Bureau of Customs Legazpi Office has auctioned off 94,000 bags, of smuggled rice from Vietnam for P154.5M, a BOC official said.
Cris Paller, BOC Operation Officer 1 and auction committee chair, said the Dragon Grains Trading, owned by Jaime Ang of Cebu City, won the bidding by offering the highest bid of P154,566,800 over three other qualified bidders that participated in the auction.
Paller said the winning price offered by the DGT for the auctioned 93,952 bags of imported rice from Vietnam was a little above the floor price pegged by the BOC at P150M.
Paller said the amounts of sealed bids offered ranged from P124M to P154M.
The DGT bid was higher by only P245.00 than Ride’s Enterprise, which offered P154,566,555, he said.
Earlier, the auction proceeding for the imported rice, was temporarily suspended by BOC Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, following complaints that the 135 million floor price set by BOC was too low, placing the government at the losing end.
The floor price set for the merchandize, Paller said, was based on the National Food Authority rice valuation.
He said the auction went smoothly although there was a declared failure of bidding on Thursday the first day of the bidding where the six qualified bidders failed to bid higher from the set floor price.
On Friday, the second day of bidding, however, only four participated and offered prices above the floor price.
Qualified bidders were required to post, a 20-percent or P30M security bond, and for the winning bidder to pay in advance, 50 percent of the floor price, and another 50 percent upon receipt of the merchandize, Paller said.
He said the payment will be held in escrow, pending the resolution of a case filed by customs, against the alleged consignees of the smuggled imported rice.
The issue on the smuggled rice from Vietnam, surfaced when cargo ship Ming Tuan 68, docked at the Legazpi Port on Sept. 23rd last year, and attempted to unload 94,000 bags of rice consigned to the NFA, in the absence of import documents.
The cargo was consigned for the account of at least five private importation consignees.
The Philippine Coast Guard impounded the vessel after a ship inspection team, found out that it violated eight of the ten provisions, stated at the Marine Pollution 7378 Convention.
The coast guard said they will require the ship’s local agent, to comply with the deficiency found by the inspectors.
Leovigildo Doyoja, BOC Legazpi customs collector, said in a phone interview his office, has been spending over 4 million pesos for anchorage fees, of the cargo ship and warehouse rentals, where the smuggled rice is being kept.
He said the vessel will still be held at bay, pending the resolution of the case, which is being evaluated by the B O C Legal Department in Manila. (From PNA reports.)