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Smuggled onions confiscated in Subic Bay Freeport, Philippines

Christian Fernsby |
At least P24 millions (€408,000) worth of alleged smuggled onions were confiscated Monday in the Subic Bay Freeport.

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The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said the Bureau of Customs in the Port of Subic seized twelve container vans loaded with fresh onions. Subic Customs Collector Maritess Martin said the shipments arrived in Subic from China and were consigned to port users Thousand Sunny, which was to receive three containers, and Dua Te Mira, which was to get nine.

However, the manifest indicated that the contents of the refrigerated container vans were frozen chapati or flat Indian bread. Martin said the BOC decided to declare the cargo abandoned after nobody claimed it or presented proof of ownership for all or part of the shipment.

The BOC said each of the twelve refrigerated vans contained hundreds of sacks of fresh red onions worth about P2 million per van. Assistant Secretary Ronnel Abrenica of the Department of Trade and Industry and field inspector Tom Muñoz of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources inspected the shipments at the New Container Terminal.

According to, one of the containers had a global positioning system (GPS) tracking device. Martin said this was the first time they found a GPS tracking device in a container van.

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