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Smuggling of used clothing foiled in Subic

- Bebot Sison Jr. () - May 2, 2006 - 12:00am
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Joint elements of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Subic recently foiled an attempt to smuggle a large shipment of used clothing (ukay-ukay) headed for Manila.

This was bared by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Armand Arreza.

Arreza noted that the Freeport is cracking down on smugglers who are trying to use the Freeport as a jump-off point for their illegal activities.

"We are imposing stricter measures to curb smuggling in Subic. These recent apprehensions show that we mean business," Arreza told The STAR.

Reports said that last April 11, elements of the BOC, the Operations and Intelligence Office (OIO) and the Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) apprehended a container van with license plate XLS-979 in San Fernando, Pampanga.

The vehicle, driven by a certain Edwin Bejer and his companion Richard Quintal, yielded several bales of used clothing bound for different ukay-ukay stores in the region.

Criminal cases were filed against the two suspects for violations of the Tariffs and Customs Code of the Philippines.

Further investigation showed that the container van was able to exit Subic by using a forged set of gate passes supposedly owned by Limech Garments Manufacturing Corp.

Arreza bared that the apprehended vehicle was not connected with the garments firm here.

"The SBMA has checked with Limech about this report and found out that the vehicle which was apprehended in San Fernando is in no way connected to the company," he said.

Arreza further noted that Limech, which has been with the Freeport for three years now, is a leading sports apparel manufacturer and is not in any way involved in trading in used clothing.

Limech is a known sports apparel manufacturer which creates clothing lines for top athletic brands like Nike and Adidas. Aside from their assembly line in the Freeport, Limech has satellite factories in Mariveles, Bataan and also in Taiwan.

The report also showed that the seized container van and its contents are owned by a certain Manuel Bergado of Interlink Recyclers Philippines.

ADMINISTRATOR AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER ARMAND ARREZA ARREZA BUREAU OF CUSTOMS EDWIN BEJER ENFORCEMENT AND SECURITY SERVICE LIMECH LIMECH GARMENTS MANUFACTURING CORP MANUEL BERGADO OF INTERLINK RECYCLERS PHILIPPINES NIKE AND ADIDAS OPERATIONS AND INTELLIGENCE OFFICE SAN FERNANDO
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