Customs to get info from Shell on oil smuggling

Posted at 02/11/14 7:21 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Customs (BOC) will coordinate with officials of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. to obtain information on the alleged resurgence of oil smuggling in the country.

BOC Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement Group Ariel Nepomuceno issued the statement yesterday after Shell country chairman and president Edgar Chua alleged that oil smuggling had become rampant again in the third quarter of 2013 after a significant reduction in the first half of the year.

“We will coordinate with Shell in the same manner that we have coordinated with other stakeholders. We will investigate if there is indeed a resurgence,” Nepomuceno said.

He said oil is one of the imported goods that the BOC is closely monitoring.

The others are second-hand high-end vehicles, agricultural products, rice and illegal drugs.

Nepomuceno said that while they are not discounting the possibility that oil smuggling has intensified, there is no data that would substantiate this scenario at this point.

Chua earlier said there has been a sharp decline in sales because of the resurgence of oil smuggling.

But he did not identify which companies are behind the illegal activity.

He added that he is optimistic that new Customs Commissioner John Sevilla would be able to come up with a more permanent solution to the problem.