BOC sues small-time oil player

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) yesterday filed smuggling charges against a small company that was able to import petroleum products worth P8.5 billion despite a capitalization of only P3 million.

Customs chief Angelito Alvarez said Cross Country Oil and Petroleum Corp (CCOPC) was being used as “dummy” by oil smugglers in shipping in barrels of petroleum from March 2009 to September this year.

“The same company had been able to engage in multi-billion-peso oil importation business despite a paltry capitalization of only P3 million,” Alvarez said.

CCOPC officials Alleli Avila Arellano, Arturo Marcelino Zapata and Samuel Mora and customs broker Jerome Canada were included in the charge sheet. The obscure oil firm holds office at Juan Luna st.. Manila.

Alvarez said the company officials were being indicted for misusing their accreditation and allowing themselves to be used as dummies in violation of the Customs and Tariff Code of the Philippines.

He said the company’s lack of financial capacity lends credence to the allegations that the company is being used by unscrupulous individuals as a front or dummy for their unlawful importation of petroleum products.

The BOC chief, however, did not identify the “unscrupulous” individuals or groups using the small oil firm as dummy for smuggling.

He nevertheless said the violations gave the government legal justification to consider all CCOPC shipments as fraudulent and demand from the company payment of the entire amount of the petroleum products imported to the tune of P8.5 billion.

The small oil firm made a recent importation of petroleum products worth P1.409 billion and was able to refund P99.46 million in the form of Tax Credit Certificates (TCC).

The BOC stressed CCOPC should not be entitled to a refund.  Dino Ng

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