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Intelligence Group warns Philippines Customs officers

Intelligence Group warns Philippines Customs officers

MANILA:  Jessie Dellosa, the deputy commissioner for the intelligence group, emphasized no more corruption would be tolerated in customs.

“You may thrive now or get away with your extortion activities, but we will still get you in the end.” She said.

The former Armed Forces chief said the bureau’s intensified campaign against corruption in its ranks was necessary to “rid Customs of the culture of corruption, which has plagued the bureau, and to show that we mean business in reforming the BOC.” An undisclosed number of Customs personnel are being “closely watched” by the agency for alleged involvement in illegal activities, including extorting money from smugglers, according to a BOC official.

He said “The erring personnel include two employees of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), which is under the intelligence group.” The agency is gathering “hard evidence” against the two, said the source, who asked not to be named for lack of authority to speak to media.

The suspect CIIS employees are said to be “close associates” of Jarvis Cinches, the former project manager of the Department of Finance’s Office of Revenue Agency Modernization, or ORAM.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima recently dismissed Cinches for alleged corrupt practices, including allegedly accepting large bribes from smugglers.

In an Oct. 31 memo, Purisima said they were terminating the services of Cinches “on the ground of loss of trust and confidence.” Cinches, who also formerly headed the Cagayan de Oro unit of the defunct Presidential Antismuggling Group, did not respond to the Inquirer’s request for an interview.

Last month, retired Army Brig. Gen. Ernesto Aradanas, the head of the bureau’s Davao collection district, was relieved for alleged involvement in oil smuggling, among other irregularities.