40,000 bags of rice seized by authorities | Photo via Manny Piñol Facebook page
MANILA, Philippines – Authorities arrested on Wednesday (October 10) two rice hoarders in Iligan City allegedly hoarding 40,000 bags of rice.
The suspected rice hoarders were identified as Filipino-Chinese businesswoman Sonia Payan and Taiwanese national Jhonny Tan.
The rice stocks discovered in four of their four warehouses were all seized.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol citing National Food Authority (NFA) Acting Administrator Tomas Escarez, revealed in his social media post that “the documents in possession of the two traders were inconsistent with their stock inventory and appeared spurious prompting the NFA to order the seizure.”
The two traders were charged with hoarding and involvement in cartel operations and profiteering.
Their arrest is the first in the government’s intensified crackdown against rice hoarders ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
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