Manila seizes 150kg of edibles from visitors, including 5 Singaporeans

More than 65kg of siew mai, char siew pau, rice with meat toppings and other food placed inside styrofoam boxes were confiscated.
More than 65kg of siew mai, char siew pau, rice with meat toppings and other food placed inside styrofoam boxes were confiscated.PHOTO: ST FILE

Customs agents seized more than 150kg of fruit and packed food that five Singaporeans and a Chinese national had planned on taking with them on a casino romp in the Philippines.

A report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer said 96kg of grapes and passion fruit, and more than 65kg of siew mai, char siew pau, rice with meat toppings and other food items packed in styrofoam boxes were confiscated.

Bureau of Animal Industry veterinary inspector Nilo Cristal told the Inquirer the six flew to Manila on a private plane on Monday evening. They were planning to play at a casino for a few days. But they could not produce an import permit for the amount of food they wanted to bring in, he said.

It was not explained why they would need so much food for their trip. The seized items have been transferred to a warehouse at the airport in Manila.

A document seen by The Straits Times identified the Singaporeans as Wong Yew Choy, Chua Hoe Beng, Koh Siew Hak, Low Chen Yang Marcus and Dexmond Koh Wei Shun, all men, aged 28 to 57.

The Chinese national who was with them was a woman named Yuan Fengxia, 33.

All six flew in from Singapore on a Gulfstream G450 owned by Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels, which operates the Solaire Resort and Casino, one of the biggest integrated resorts in Manila.

The six were not charged nor held at the airport.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2019, with the headline 'Manila seizes 150kg of edibles from visitors, including 5 S'poreans'. Print Edition | Subscribe