PAGADIAN CITY: Joint police and military forces seized some 8,000 bags of imported rice at the Port of Margosatubig in Zamboanga del Sur, news reaching Philippine Preview said.
The belated report named the Margosatubig Municipal Police Station and the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion as having intercepted the said imported rice– stored in three cargo trucks and a sea vessel cargoes last on Friday, Sept. 26.
Zambosur Provincial Police Director S/Supt. Sofronio Ecaldre was quoted as having said the cargo originated from the Port of Taganak in Tawi-Tawi and arrived in Margosatubig Port on September 24 without proper documents.
Some of the imported rice bags were said to be arranged aboard three cargo trucks and ready for delivery to Pagadian City when they were discovered.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Bureau of Customs apprehended "illegaly imported" rice from Thailand at the Manila International Container Port for lack of required import permit from the National Food Authority (NFA).
The supposedly smuggled white rice is estimated at 1,250 metric tons and valued some P50 million, and consigned to a certain Tres Mujeres Agri Venture.
As this developed, NFA-Zamboanga told this paper that a shipment of imported rice has arrived last month consisting of 156,000 sacks of Vietnam rice of 50 kilos each.
The NFA added it’s the last shipment of imported rice for NFA-Zamboanga for the year 2014 and that part of the imported rice will be distributed to the provinces of Zambonorte, Zambosur, Zambo Sibugay, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.