Customs exec rapped over radio transceiver
- by Freeman News Service () - May 16, 2000 - 12:00am

CEBU - A ranking Customs official may soon find himself in hot water.

He allegedly imported an item with insufficient documents, consigned it to himself, and asked his subordinates to allow the importation without paying the required duties.

Customs personnel at the subport of Mactan were surprised when an imported shipment lacking official documents arrived last May 10 consigned to Ramon Anquilan, the former port collector.

Anquilan has been reassigned to the office of the deputy Customs commissioner in Manila but is currently on a study leave in Cebu without an official assignment.

Documents obtained by The Freeman at the Customs' Mactan office show Anquilan brought in a supposedly newly repaired radio transceiver through Federal Express from the electronics firm Kenwood in Cerritos, California through its Japan office.

But the FedEx airway bill was not supported by a certificate of identification and export declaration that would have proven that the transceiver came from Mactan and was only sent to Kenwood for repair.

This gave rise to suspicions that the transceiver was brand-new and not merely a newly repaired one.

Bolstering the suspicion was the discovery of another document, a commercial invoice issued by Kenwood addressed to Anquilan, which declares the total value of the item as $2,500, too much for repair but plausible for a brand-new transceiver.

Since the value is more than $350, the item should have been dutiable.

The imported transceiver was also not covered by an import permit issued by the National Telecommunications Commission as should have been the case.

Prior to the importation of communications equipment, the commission normally issues the necessary import permit.

Customs lawyers, who requested anonymity, said that for the sake of delicadeza, Anquilan should have not used his name in the importation.

They said Customs personnel are his subordinates and may not impose the correct duties and taxes on the shipment.

Mactan Customs collector Leovigildo Dayoha said his office will slap the necessary duties on the importation.

"There is nobody exempted from paying," Dayoha said.

Other sources believe that if the transceiver really needed repair, it was more logical and practical to order spare parts and have the repair done here than send it back to the manufacturer.

They say this only further strengthens their doubts that the transceiver is actually brand-new.

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