PHOTO BY Bureau of Customs - Philippines

Filipino cabin crew charged with smuggling after attempting to bring home 27kg onions from Dubai, Riyadh

Authorities in the Philippines have filed smuggling charges against ten Filipino cabin crew members who attempted to bring home onions and fruits from UAE and Saudi Arabia.

According to an incident report filed by officers of the country’s Bureau of Customs, the Philippine Airlines crew, who landed on two different flights from Dubai (PR 659) and Riyadh (PR 655) on January 10, were caught with 27kg onions, 10.5kg lemons, and 1kg strawberries and blueberries.

According to the report, the materials were discovered in baggage upon the cabin crew’s arrival at Manila international airport’s Terminal 1.

They did not declare the things on the customs baggage declaration form, nor did they have the required import permit to bring such merchandise. Since they failed to provide the documents, the goods were confiscated, the Customs officers said.

ALSO READ: Philippine Airlines vows sanctions if crew found guilty of onion smuggling

One flight attendant asked the officer if he could “destroy the goods” during the incident.

He then “stomped and smashed the onions and lemons in public,” prompting other cabin staff members to do the same.

A government official stressed that carrying onions or other agricultural items in one’s luggage is classified as importation, even if the quantities are for personal consumption.

Customs had turned over the confiscated goods to the Bureau of Plant Quarantine for urgent destruction.

The cabin staff members will face charges of smuggling in violation of the Customs Modernisation and Tariff Act, as well as a violation of the Plant Quarantine Law under Presidential Decree 1433. BKM/ Expat Media

ALSO READ: Filipinos from UAE bring home suitcases full of onions as prices skyrocket

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