Government agents seized in Manila International Container Port another shipment of smuggled luxury cars worth P20 million from Japan.
The seized vehicles include a white Ferrari 430, a gray Mercedes Benz E220, and a blue Mercedes Benz SLK 55.
The shipment is consigned to JLFDM Consumer Goods Trading, the same consignee of the P10 million worth of Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Toyota sports cars intercepted by operatives of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service last month.
MICP-CIIS chief Alvin Enciso said they are conducting series of operations in line with the agency’s “Coplan Tsekot”, a campaign aimed at stopping the entry of imported smuggled vehicles.
“We’ve been on the lookout for containers consigned to that particular company. Prior to the arrival, we already knew the same modus of hiding the vehicles behind bales of ukay-ukay clothing. We had monitored the shipment before it left the port of origin,” Enciso said.
At least 33 bales of used clothing were placed at the threshold of the container. Customs inspectors found plywoods behind the bales of used clothing to hold and secure it from falling into the motor vehicles hidden at the far end of the container.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero warned smugglers that his agency wouldn’t relent on its “border security and intelligence gathering activities.”
“This is the second time that we discovered the same modus. We are going to hit hard on these smugglers for not stopping their illegal activities,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero formed the Coplan Tsekot late last year and directed the MICP-CIIS team to go after unscrupulous traders behind the smuggling of vehicles, especially luxury cars.
The campaign started following the seizure of a P33 million worth of McLaren 620R supercar at the Manila South Harbor in August.
The shipment was consigned to Llorin Trading and arrived at the Port of Manila on July 16, 2020. It was misdeclared as brand new Porsche Cayman sports car in an attempt to avoid the payment of the appropriate duties and taxes.