GOVERNMENT prosecutors recommended the indictment of Customs broker Mark Taguba and several others for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariffs Act (CMTA) in connection with the sensational P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China.
Apart from Taguba, the Department of Justice recommended the filing of the same charges against Eirene Mae Tatad, Teejay Marcellana, Chen Ju Long (aka “Richard Tan,” “Richard Chen”), Fidel Anoche Dee, Chen I. Min, Jhu Ming Jyun, Li Guang Feng (aka “Manny Li”), Dong Yi Shen (aka “Kenneth Dong”) and other unnamed suspects.
They were accused of violating Section 1400 (misdeclaration, misclassifaction, undervaluation in goods declaration) and Section 1401 (unlawful importation and exportation) of the CMTA.
During preliminary investigation, it was discovered that the evidence provided “would readily support the conclusion” that the respondents were “interested” in bringing into the country the container that carried five metal cylinders concealing dangerous drugs.
Also, the DoJ junked the respondents’ assertion that the importation papers they signed, processed and filed at the BoC declared only an importation of “cutting boards, footwear, kitchenware and ‘moulds.’”
“Respondents’ defense that they were not aware that the shipment they received contained dangerous drugs deserves scant consideration. What matters is that they committed act/s which has a vital connection to the chain of conspiracy, that without such act, the unlawful importation would be unsuccessful,” the resolution read.
The case stemmed from the discovery of the shabu shipment at the Hong Fei Logistics warehouse in Valenzuela City on May 26, 2017.