P15M worth of firecrackers seized at Manila port

12/06/10 - Four container vans of assorted firecrackers and pyrotechnics from China worth P15 million were seized by Customs agents at the Port of Manila on Monday.

The contraband items were declared as bed sheets, school and office supplies, and puzzle mats, according to lawyer Lourdes Mangaoang, head of the X-ray Inspection Project of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

“These containers were subjected to X-ray scanning and it was found out that they contained firecrackers because of the triggering of the radio monitoring system (RMS)," she said.

RMS refers to the radiation detection equipment installed in the X-ray scanning machines. It is triggered when it detects radioactive materials even if the contraband items were hidden inside containers.

Upon inspection, authorities found out that the four 4x40 container vans, which were consigned to Blueharbor Commercial Inc. and Denver Trading, were loaded with boxes of Pop Pop, Piccolo, and Gausing Super firecrackers.

The label was tampered to make it appear that it was manufactured in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Joey Yuchongco, director of the Customs Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), said mislabeling was deliberate to make it appear that the firecrackers and pyrotechnics were made locally since imported ones are illegal.

Importation of firecrackers, a regulated product, requires import permits from the Firearms and Explosives Division (FED). (Gmanews)

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