Four misdeclared luxury cars seized
CEBU, Philippines — Four luxury cars that were declared as car accessories and decorations were confiscated by the Bureau of Customs Port of Cebu.
The bureau said that during an examination conducted last Thursday, one container van yielded four undeclared luxury cars; a Range Rover Evoque, a Porsche 911, a Mercedes-Benz, and an Alfa Romeo.
A Warrant of Seizure and Detention is expected to be issued against the shipment by BOC Port of Cebu district collector Elvira Cruz on Monday.
In a post on social media, the BOC added that the shipment was imported by Kylemelan General Merchandise with office address in Malabon City. It arrived at the Cebu International Port last December 19 under Bill of Lading No. 181206750071.
The van containing the vehicles came from Japan. It triggered a red flag after X-ray inspection showed the shipment was four solid objects instead of being the 500 car accessories and one-piece car body decoration being declared. This prompted the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service to request for an alert order against the shipment for suspected misdeclaration under Section 1400 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
The request was approved by District Collector Cruz and a physical examination was conducted by the assigned customs examiner together with the importer’s broker and representatives from Enforcement and Security Service, CIIS, X-Ray Inspection Project, and Office of the District Collector.
The CIIS then recommended for the Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the shipment.
For the past several months, it has been the policy of the bureau and the national government to destroy smuggled luxury cars.
BOC-POC-CIIS supervisor Carlo Bautista said that based on the information they have gathered, “the four cars may have been intended for car collectors in Cebu.”
He explained that they suspected the vehicles were intended for car collectors after seeing that the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche appear to be vintage models.
The consignee might have used Malabon in its address as a decoy to keep the authorities off track, so they would not learn on the real identities of the importers.
Meanwhile, all customs district collectors and all others concerned were instructed by the Commissioner to strictly implement the latest directive of the Department of Agriculture regarding the ban on importation of pork and pork-based products from African Swine Fever-affected countries.
The countries affected by ASF are Belgium, China, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.
DA secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that pork and pork-based products from these eight countries cannot be brought into the country and will be confiscated at points of entry as the Philippines steps up measures to prevent the spread of African Swine Fever.
He said that while the country has taken steps to address the newest threat to livestock and poultry as early as August of this year, the DA through the Bureau of Animal Industry will be implementing more stringent measures to close the country’s borders temporarily to pork and pork-based products from these countries as reports indicate the disease is spreading, especially in China. — With a report from Philippine STAR News Service, BRP (FREEMAN)