“Greedy” Customs employee demands P1.5M bribe despite dismissal from service

MANILA, Philippines – A Bureau of Customs (BOC) employee was arrested for demanding and receiving more than P1.5 million from an importer-businesswoman despite being dismissed from the service.

Ethel Bernas, Customs Operations Officer III (COO 3) posted at the NAIA Collection District – Auction and Cargo Disposal Division of the BOC was accused by businesswoman Jane Louise Balse of extorting at least P1.5M in bribe in exchange for the release of the latter’s container vans with used clothing (ukay-ukay) from Hong Kong and the United States.

Philippine laws prohibits the importation of used clothing as per Republic Act No. 4653.

Balse claimed Bernas has initially demanded P1 million in exchange for assisting her in processing the release of the goods from the airport.

However, the initial payment was apparently not enough for Bernas as she demanded an additional P425,000, supposedly for other Customs officials, Balse added. (Click here to read more)

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