The Philippine Coast Guard has accosted a Vietnam-flagged cargo ship in Bicol province over shipments of rice that allegedly lacked proper documentation.
According to the Philippine Coast Guard Headquarters in Manila, Coast Guard District Bicol boarded and detained MV Minh Tuan 68 and its 16 crewmembers at the request of the Bureau of Customs Enforcement and Security Service (BUCUS).
"BUCUS representatives reported that said foreign vessel allegedly [intended] to unload the illegally shipped cargo from Vietnam to Legazpi City. They further requested assistance from Coast Guard Station Albay to detain the said vessel to prevent its possible escape," the PCG said in a statement.
The ship, which was anchored in Albay Gulf, was boarded by BUCUS and PCG personnel as well as by members of the PCG Special Operations Unit. The vessel was also inspected to check whether it conformed to international safety standards.
"It was found out that MV Minh Tuan 68 does not have valid documents pertaining to the safety requirements. Further, the Coast Guard authorities have found inconsistencies with the documents of the transported cargo," PCG said.
BUCUS has issued an alert notice to MV Minh Tuan 68 and has asked the ship's master, Nguyen Van Hai, to present the ship's Authority to Import Rice by Tuesday. Failure to present the proper documents will mean the rice will be subject to a Warrant for Seizure and Detention, the PCG said.
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