Three more cars valued at P16 million were seized by the Bureau of Customs in Manila North Harbor as part of its campaign to go after smugglers of vehicles.
Members of the Manila International Container Port - Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (MICP-CIIS) impounded the smuggled vehicles — a brand new white 2021 Land Cruiser; and two second hand units of a red 2016 Nissan GTR, and black 2020 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe.
MICP-CIIS chief Alvin Enciso, said the series of operations was in line with the bureau’s campaign dubbed Coplan Tsekot aimed to prevent the illegal importation of vehicles into the country.
“We will continue to monitor these shipments because there has been a series of smuggled vehicles trying to come into the country. That has been evident this past month alone,” he said.
Enciso was referring to the two previous alerted shipments that resulted in the seizure of luxury vehicles worth P30 million on May 26 and June 2. These were consigned to JLFDM Consumer Goods Trading.
“It turned out that these shipments were positive for the presence of these luxury cars,” he said.
MICP district collector Romeo Allan Rosales issued an Alert Order (AO) against the latest shipment consigned to Adfinest Marketing Corp. Rosales’ order led to the 100 percent examination of the container van shipped from Dubai resulting in the discovery of the three vehicles hidden behind used tires found on the threshold.
After the examination, which was witnessed by members of the Enforcement and Security Service and Formal Entry Division, the shipment was placed under Warrant of Seizure and Detention.
The CIIS is conducting further investigation and preparing for the filing of criminal cases against the consignee for possible violation of Section 1400 in relation to Section 1113 of Republic Act 10863 also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), as well as the lack of Authority to Import used vehicles from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero lauded the work by the CIIS and MICP after they foiled three attempted car smuggling activities in the past three weeks alone.
“We have put everything in place to catch these smugglers. We won’t be satisfied with what we’ve achieved and won’t stop exerting more efforts in our campaign until the message is clear to them,” he said.
Guerrero formed the Coplan Tsekot late last year and directed the MICP-CIIS team to go after unscrupulous traders behind the smuggling of luxury cars.
The campaign started following the seizure of a P33 million worth McLaren 620R supercar in Manila South Harbor in August. The shipment arrived at the Port of Manila on July 16, 2020. It was declared as brand new Porsche Cayman sports car in an attempt to avoid the payment of the appropriate duties and taxes.