BOC warns vs. internet love scam, adult toys

EVEN if they are for personal use, adult toys are not allowed in the country, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) – Cebu said.

Erwin Andaya, administrative officer IV of BOC – Cebu said that based on Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Law, adult toys are prohibited in the country.

The law describes adult toys as obscene or immoral in the Philippines, unlike in other countries where these are allowed.

BOC – Cebu said they seize at least one shipment a month of adult toys. In one case, a person was caught trying to sneak what was said to be a massage roll from abroad. But when Customs personnel researched about the item online, it was considered as an adult toy.

“So if it passes through our customs lane and it’s subjected for examination by the customs examiner, then we can detect the items. We have to seize the package,” Andaya said.

Based on the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, adult toys are considered prohibited goods even if they are for personal use.

The law says adult toys are “written or printed articles, negatives or cinematographic film, photographs, engravings, lithographs, objects, paintings, drawings, or other representation of an obscene or immoral character.”

Under Presidential Decree 969, a violation carries a penalty of P6,000 to P12,000.

“Those who shall sell, give away or exhibit films, prints, engravings, sculpture or literature which are offensive to morals (will be fined).”

Also, the BOC – Cebu warned the public of what it calls the Internet Love Scam that has victimized many, mostly women.

The scam starts with a woman meeting somebody online, usually a foreigner. Then the foreigner says he will send a package. But before the woman can get the package, she is told to pay through a forwarding company.

The BOC-Cebu said it receives reports of at least two cases of Internet Love Scam a day.

Andaya, adminsitrative officer IV of BOC-Cebu, said most of the victims of this scam are women. Andaya said the foreigner will tell the potential victim that he is sending a package. If the woman agrees, somebody claiming to be from a forwarding company will contact the woman for payment.

Andaya said this is a scam because the mode of payment is through bank transfer or money remittance. A legitimate payment transaction, Andaya said, is coursed through the BOC so that a receipt can be issued.

The scam is elaborate, complete with a website that supposedly tracks the payment to make it look legitimate.

Another sign that it’s a scam is if the payment required is more than P10,000.

No one has been arrested in relation to the Internet Love Scam yet, but the National Bureau of Investigation is the agency that will monitor it.

The modus is a violation of Customs Law, or Republic Act 10863, as it uses the BOC to disguise the scam. (HBL)

Source: Local News

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