BOC seizes smuggled black ants

February 15, 2022 Jun I. Legaspi 327 views

IN LINE with its mandate to prevent the entry and exit of prohibited and restricted commodities, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) – Port of NAIA seized and turned over 3 export shipments misdeclared as “Lego Toys” and 2 undeclared import shipments containing harmful black ants concealed in 396 specimen tubes to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on January 24, 2022 and February 4, 2022, respectively.

Like in other countries, the importation and exportation of non-native black ants are strictly prohibited because of the danger it poses not only to human health but also to the environment.

Studies in China show that non-native black ants are the carrier of virus, bacteria, and diseases inimical to local ecology, including agriculture and forestry. However, despite common perils and hazards, Black ants are also beautiful in appearance.

Records show that the three intercepted export parcels declared as “Lego Kid’s Toy” bound for France, Singapore, and Italy were sent by a certain “Shin Yap”. The subject parcels yielded a total of 21 small cups and 21 specimen tubes containing assorted black ants concealed in a Lego Box.

On the other hand, the two similarly suspicious imported shipments from Poland were also subjected to mandatory non-intrusive inspection and physical Customs examination. The same yielded a total of 375 specimen tubes containing black ants.

The seized black ants were immediately turned over to the DENR and subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 11 and 27 of RA 9147 otherwise known as “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act”, and Section 117 in relation to Section 1113 (f) of RA 10863 also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

The Port of NAIA under District Collector Carmelita M. Talusan remain steadfast and committed to support the directives of Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero to enhance border security and prevent the entry and/or exit of prohibited, restricted, and hazardous goods, including harmful and inimical wildlife species.