P3-M ‘hot’ multi-cabs seized at Manila port

- Edu Punay () - February 9, 2008 - 12:00am

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized yesterday a shipment carrying 13 used multi-cabs at Manila International Container Port (MICP).

The smuggled Mazda and Suzuki multi-cabs, worth a total of P3 million, were seized after BOC officials found that their importation was in violation of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and other related laws.

During presentation of the seized items, Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales said the importers of the shipment specifically violated Executive Order 156, which prohibits importation of used vehicles that weigh 2,500 kilos or below.

Morales said the shipment arrived at the MICP aboard M/V Cagayan Bay last Jan.30 from Cagayan De Oro and was consigned to Starbuilt Enterprises Inc. The smuggled multi-cabs carried license plates and were already registered with the Land Transportation Office.

“This is an initial result of our intensified campaign against smuggling of motor vehicles in some of our port districts. While we are investigating on allegations of involvement of some of our officials, we are doing preventive measures to curb car smuggling,” the BOC chief stressed.

Customs police director Col. Jose Yuchongco said they had found that the seized multi-cabs were formerly right-hand drive vehicles assembled into complete units and converted into left-hand drive multi-cabs.

Yuchongco said in his report they also confirmed that the registered importer of the seized multi-cabs does not exist.

Morales said the seized multi-cabs would be used as service vehicles of Customs police.

The newly appointed director of Customs Enforcement and Security Service, Nicasio Radovan, said they will continue their intensified campaign against the smuggling of motor vehicles.

“We have a game plan in combating car smuggling and the key is vigilance. We are doubling our intelligence gathering operations in coordination with the Philippine National Police and LTO. We want to intercept these smuggled cars within the premises of Bureau of Customs,” Radovan said in an interview with The STAR.

Radovan also said they have the mechanism for running after smuggled cars that have been released by BOC.

“Right now we have a list of 100 supposedly smuggled vehicles that were released by Customs through Ports in Subic, Cebu and Manila.

We are verifying their papers with other government agencies. Once verified, we will immediately seize them,” he said.

BUREAU OF CUSTOMS CABS CAGAYAN DE ORO CUSTOMS CUSTOMS COMMISSIONER NAPOLEON MORALES CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT AND SECURITY SERVICE EXECUTIVE ORDER
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