Just last week, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) found four sports cars hidden in a shipment of "ukay-ukay". The smuggled vehicles consisted of a Porsche Boxster, a Mercedes-Benz SLK, and two Toyota MR-S sports cars that appear to have been disassembled for shipping.
With the BOC able to stop the shipment from going out of the Manila Port, it looks like the smuggler's operations have been foiled.
But it seems old habits die hard. The BOC was able to bust another ukay-ukay shipment containing hidden cars. According to Alvin Enciso, Chief of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Services (CIIS), the sports cars were discovered during an inspection of a shipment consigned to JLFDM Consumer Goods Trading. This is the same company where last week's smuggled cars were consigned.
The smuggled sports cars were hidden behind 33 bales of used clothing and plywood. A total of three vehicles were found - a white Ferrari F430 Scuderia, a gray Mercedes-Benz E220, and a blue Mercedes-Benz SLK 55. The BOC estimates that smuggled cars have a total value of PHP 20 million. Similar to last week, the shipment also originated from Japan.
“We’ve been on the lookout for containers consigned to this 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,” said Enciso.
A warrant of seizure and detention was immediately issued by MICP District Collector Romeo Rosales for the possible violation of Section 1400 of RA 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero warned smugglers the BOC will continue its operations against smuggling goods into the country.
“This is the second time in a month that we discovered the same modus. We are going to hit hard on these smugglers for not stopping their illegal activities,” added Guerrero.
As for the fate of the three vehicles, they might end up being crushed to serve as a warning to smugglers. In the past, the BOC showed just how serious they were when they crushed both new and old vehicles that were smuggled into the country. A Bentley Continental GT, Toyota Land Cruiser LC76, and several Range Rovers have all met a crushing end.