Agents of the Bureau of Customs seized P9.49 million of onions believed to have been smuggled into the country through the waters of Zamboanga City.

In a statement, the BOC said the confiscation was based on two separate operations in Barangay Labuan on Jan. 22 and in Barangay Cawit the following day.

The Jan. 22 operation involved motorized wooden watercraft marked as TIMZZAN. The vessel contained 1,624 mesh bags of imported fresh red onions, amounting to P2,598,400.

The second operation involved 4,308 mesh bags of imported fresh red onions worth P6,892,800 in a jungkong-type cargo watercraft marked as MJ MARISSA.

The BOC said eized onions have no Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance from the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Bureau of Plant Industry which is in violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act of 2016 in relation to Republic Act 10845 or the “Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.”

The onions were turned over to the DA and transported to its Research Center in Barangay Talisayan, Zamboanga City for safekeeping.