MANILA—The Bureau of Customs has apprehended four vessels allegedly involved in illegal quarrying of magnetic black sand along the Cagayan River in Aparri town.
According to Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, the ships were apprehended on April 8 after failing to present documents showing that duties and taxes had been paid by its owners.
Armed with a mission order issued by Faeldon, the bureau’s Special Studies and Project Development Committee (SSPDC), with the help of barangay officials, located the MV Nova 1 at the Parradun Sur Quarry Site in Cagayan province.
Three other vessels, MV Vela 1, MV Vela 3 and Monte Cristo II, which were apparently used for the same purpose were found at the Hua Xia Pine Sand compound in Barangay Tallungan.
All four vessels are said to have an estimated value of PHP200 million.
It was also believed that the ships have entered the country illegally.
“This latest seizure only points to the unyielding efforts of the BOC to put a stop to smuggling and other illicit trade activities, whether by land or sea,” Faeldon said in a statement.
“We will remain even more vigorous in our mission to run after violators ,” he added.
Earlier reports revealed that foreign vessels have allegedly been smuggled into the country and are operating in Aparri, a riverside municipality in Cagayan.