Just last week, the Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) crushed seven cars that included a rare McLaren 620R; in a public show to discourage illegal importation of cars. To further warn would-be importers, it released the video of its painful destruction.
Yes. That was a McLaren 620R destroyed not only by a backhoe but also by a forklift.
As part of the government's continued campaign against illegal car importation, the BOC lined up six other cars last week to crush. These included a Porsche 911, Mercedes-Benz SLK, Hyundai Genesis, Bentley Flying Spur, Lotus Elise, Toyota Solara convertible, and the McLaren.
In a separate activity at Cagayan de Oro Port, the BOC also crushed 14 knocked-down Mitsubishi Jeeps that they seized prior.
In total, the BOC estimated that the entire value of the smuggled vehicles is PHP 58.55 million. Perhaps the most expensive car here was the McLaren. Essentially a race car built for the streets, the 620R is the most powerful in McLaren's Sport Series lineup. It's based on the 570S GT4 race car and has a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 620 PS with 620 Nm of torque.
McLaren only made 350 of these supercars, and each one carried a price tag of $299,000 (about PHP 14.590 million) back in 2019.
Many have suggested that the government should have instead auctioned the car off and get good money out of these, that's not the point. While cruel, the destruction of the vehicles by the BOC serves as a clear message to discourage illegal importation. Remember, this was not the first time the government destroyed smuggled vehicles.
Back in 2018, the BOC destroyed 30 smuggled vehicles which included a rare 1969 Corvette Stingray. A month after that, the bureau crushed another batch of illegally imported cars in Port Irene, Cagayan. Most recently, ten smuggled vehicles met a crushing end in the Port of Manila. One of those destroyed included an air-cooled Porsche 911.
What do you think of the Bureau of Customs' decision to destroy smuggled vehicles? Should they have auctioned them off instead and get a big sum of money for the Philippine government? Or is the BOC right to destroy illegally imported vehicles to deter smugglers?