Filipino customs officials have seized 11 containers of onions declared as household items at the Port of Manila.
According to a report by the Manila Bulletin, the containers, which were consigned to three importers, had a value of P35.6m (US$820,000).
The alleged importers were named as Widsets Trading, Royal Halo Enterprises and Aldero Enterprises, by the newspaper.
“The attempts to bring into the country illegally imported onions are not intended to fill a demand or shortage, but simply to exploit the high demand for the crop during the holidays to the detriment, of course, of our local onion raisers,” customs commissioner Ruffy Biazon said.
“We know that the months of November and December are the most active months for smugglers. Thus, we have doubled our efforts in monitoring the movement of cargoes in all BoC `Bureau of Customs` ports,” he added.