Around P17 million worth of smuggled yellow onions inside the three containers were confiscated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

All containers were declared to have clothing and home products from China.

The BOC explained that sacks of onions were discovered in between sacks of used clothings, also known as “ukay-ukay” with an estimated worth of P2 million.

The shipment was filed with plastic buckets, ladies’ blouses, ladies’ slippers, dish plates, and cat litter according to the customs bureau.

Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz said that many business owners paid the appropriate fees to bring products legally into the country. However, groups smuggled millions worth of products without going through the legal process.

“The bureau has, so far, examined, detained, and seized hundreds of millions worth of shipments that contain agricultural products this month alone. If they think they can use the ukay-ukay to hide the onions, they are mistaken,” Ruiz said in a statement.

“We swore to protect the country’s borders from this kind of illegal activities. But much more than that, we are also trying to protect our people, many of whom are deeply affected—and have been crying out—against the prices of the most basic of our food products,” he added.

 — Ronald Espartinez