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Bureau of Customs to auction off 2 planes seized

The Bureau of Customs announced on Wednesday it would auction off two planes seized by the government for lack of required documents and failure to pay duties and taxes.

This will be the first time in the history of Philippine Customs to auction off an aircraft. 

Customs-Ninoy Aquino International Airport district collector Carmelita Talusan said they would sell off the forfeited 80-seater Magnum Air (Skyjet) and the declared abandoned 50-seater twin turbo propeller aircraft of Air Republiq to generate additional revenue.

The Air Republiq (ATR 42-320) plane will be the first one to be auctioned off and will take place at JM Aerofix Wing Hangar located at the NAIA General Aviation Area in Pasay City.

“The Customs NAIA has two seizures, the Skyjet and the Air Republiq. The first one to be auctioned is the Air Republiq. First time in history that the bureau will sell an aircraft,” Talusan told Manila Standard.

Talusan tapped Robert Quintana as the lead Customs NAIA officer to conduct the public auction which will be held either last week of September or mid-October. 

“The schedule and other details will be published in newspapers. This aircraft will be sold as is where is,” she said.

Also up for auction is the British-made Skyjet (BAE 146-100) plane which was forfeited early this year after its operator failed to pay P90 million in duties and taxes for its importation last year.

The bureau´s district collector ordered the aircraft to be forfeited also for violating Sections 224 (Power to Inspect and Visit), 400 (Goods to be Imported through Customs Office), 401 (Importation Subject to Goods Declaration), and 405 (Liability of Importer for Duties and Taxes) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The aircraft was first alerted on March 29, 2017 by collector Talusan as then district collector of Port of Subic and requested for a Letter of Authority to demand proof of payment of duties and taxes as no record of any import entry or warehousing entry was filed by the owners.

According to Magnum Air, it purchased the plane from its previous owner without knowledge that it has unsettled tax obligations.

Based on reports, the Skyjet aircraft operator was a former registered locator of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority but was delisted and has ceased operations in 2014.

Magnum Air filed a case of syndicated estafa as early as February 2016 against the previous management for illegal acts and other irregularities. A copy of the complaint has been submitted to BoC in the seizure proceedings.  

Customs officials said they are readying the auction of the two planes the soonest time possible to gain non-traditional revenues for the bureau.  

In 2009, the bureau under the administration of then commissioner Napoleon Morales tried to auction off seized vessels which were ordered forfeited for their alleged involvement in gun smuggling and tax evasion.

Topics: Philippine Customs , Skyjet , Air Republiq , JM Aerofix Wing Hangar , Auction

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