BoC denies Korean’s extortion, theft claims

CLARK — An official of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday denied the claims of a Korean national over alleged extortion and theft upon their arrival last February 12, 2018 at the Clark International Airport.

In a press conference, BOC Clark district collector Maritess Martin shed light over the misinformation that Woo Seon Kyung, a Korean national, posted on social media that went viral.

Martin said what the Customs personnel detailed at the Clark Airport did was procedural. SeonKyung had to pay duties and taxes on the cosmetic items that she brought here amounting to $677 based on a receipt.

Under the procedure, imported items which exceed the P10,000 threshold of the De Minimis importation are imposed duties and taxes as provided in Sections 104 and 423 of Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

“We would like to put on record that Customs personnel at the Clark International Airport only implements the Customs laws, rules, and regulations, and impose lawful customs duties and taxes where applicable, and the same customs laws and rules are imposed upon arriving passengers, Filipinos and foreigners alike,” Martin said.

She added sinced SeonKyung could not speak English, Customs personnel on duty Ramon Mindanao told her the amount of customs duties and taxes that she had to pay amounted to P6,941 or $137, which is based on the rate of duty, value-added tax and customs documentary stamp.

“Unfortunately, Ms. SeonKyung refused to pay the said customs duties and taxes claiming that the goods were bought at Incheon Korea Duty Free Shop despite the explanation of Mr. Mindanao,” Martin furthered.

She said in compliance to the Philippines customs procedure the bag and the cosmetic products were held and a Held Baggage Receipt was issued but SeonKyung refused to sign the (green) copy of the receipt.

On the claim of SeonKyung that they were yelled by the personnel of the Airport, CCTV footage showed that they were treated with utmost courtesy and respect during their transaction inside the airport.

“It was not true that she and her husband waited for the customs examiner for several hours, waiting for the release of the said items. They were informed that the items will be released only upon payment of the duties and taxes. Passenger SeonKyung and her husband were treated with utmost courtesy and respect and politely explained to them the situation,” Martin stressed.

As to the alleged lost watch and electronic cigarettes during SeonKyung’s departure last February 16, 2018, the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said that there is no e-cigarette on sight at the x-ray chamber as claimed by the couple.

OTS personnel Lalaine Anciado was able to retrieve the wrist watch at the exit chamber of the x-ray machine that fell off the handcarried bag of SeonKyung’s husband while queuing at the conveyor belt.

Anciado immediately went to last screening area and called the attention of SeonKyung’s husband and promptly returned the wristwatch.

OTS showed to the media the cctv footage as counter to the claim of the Korean couple on social media post that when viral.

The SeonKyung couple arrived at CRK on board Jin Air flight number LJ023.

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