Customs intercepts 7,000 metric tons of sugar suspected to have been smuggled from Thailand

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Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials intercepted a cargo vessel carrying at least 140,000 bags or 7,000 metric tons of imported sugar in Subic, the Office of the Press Secretary confirmed.

The sugar, suspected to be smuggled, was found aboard the MW Bangpakaew from Thailand.

Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez also said that the importation documents presented by ship personnel to officials were recycled.

The interception in Subic is the latest in a series of operations conducted by Customs authorities related to the suspected smuggling or hoarding of sugar amid an ongoing shortage in the country.

Previously, customs officials seized PHP220 million (US$3.9 billion) worth of sugar, also from Thailand, in warehouses in Pampanga and Bulacan over suspected hoarding.

Authorities said that it was possible the sugar was being hoarded or used for price manipulation to take advantage of the country’s shortage.

Earlier this week, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and RC Cola, the country’s top 3 soda makers, confirmed that they were affected by the shortage of refined sugar.