P15m worth of smuggled phones seized
Published on: Monday, August 26, 2019
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Customs officials show smartphones smuggled from South Korea in a press conference at Naia.
MANILA: Government agents assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport seized at least 825 used smartphones and accessories worth P15 million smuggled from South Korea.

Customs-Naia District Collector Carmelita Talusan said her men intercepted the Samsung, LG, and iPhone mobile devices and accessories without the required permits from the National Telecommunications Commission.

The contraband, contained in 19 boxes and declared as used cellphones in two separate shipments, arrived last month and was stored in TMW warehouse near Naia Terminal 1 without proper documentation.

“Two separate shipments were found with same consignee and found to contain used smartphones, lithium batteries and phone accessories,” she said.

Some of the smartphones are as follows: Samsung S10 plus, Samsung S9 plus, Samsung S10, Samsung Note 9, Note 10, LG smartphone, Samsung A5, Samsung A7, and iPhone 8 plus.

“Used cellphones are not given permits except for those intended for personal use or as gifts for family members or relatives, but not in commercial quantity or use,” she added.

The NTC is also not giving permits for the importation of used cellphones due to safety and security reasons.

Samsung Philippines Corp. Public Relations Officer Marlene Cinco commended Customs-Naia for its vigilance in seizing the used mobile devices.

“We laud the Bureau of Customs, headed by district collector Carmelita Talusan, for helping keep the Philippines free of possibly counterfeit products that did not seek proper importation permits and sufficient quality control. We ask the public to remain vigilant when purchasing Samsung devices,” Cinco said.

“Samsung is committed to quality. We have also re-assessed every step of the smartphone manufacturing process to ensure public safety. Therefore, we strongly encourage the public to only purchase Samsung devices from authorised-Samsung stores nationwide to ensure that they get to fully enjoy their devices now and in the future,” she added.

Customs agents in Naia also intercepted a smuggled shipment of rifle parts declared as “buckle [iron decoration]” at a bonded warehouse near the airport on Friday.

Talusan said a total of 20 rifle handguards and six handguard locks were found inside a package from Shanghai, China that landed at the DHL warehouse without the necessary import/export permit from the Philippine National Police.

The seized rifle parts will be turned over to the PNP-Firearms and Explosive Unit for proper disposition.


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