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NBI seizes smuggled cars

AJ de la Torre, Mylen Manto (The Freeman) - March 8, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - By virtue of a search warrant, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 confiscated ten smuggled second-hand Honda Fit displayed in a car store in Mandaue City Wednesday morning.

Judge Teresita Galanida issued the search warrant again JJRS Car Mall Sales on the North Road in Basak, Mandaue City.

However, NBI Regional Director Antonio Pagatpat said the Ricardo Sameon the subject for the search warrant eluded arrest as he was not in the area during the raid.

He will be charged for violations of Presidential Decree 1464 as amended by Executive Order 156 or Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines.

Under Executive Order 156, Pagatpat said the importation of used vehicles is prohibited in the country.

Investigation revealed that Sameon owns the subject imported vehicles.  Pagatpat said that during the operation, the manager of the display center failed to show the necessary documents for the vehicles.

It was also learned that the car mall has no business permit.

Pagatpat said before they applied for a search warrant, they were able to secure a certification from Honda Philippines stating the company is not importing Honda Fit.

"Locally, Honda Fit is not available in the country," he said.

He clarified that it was not Honda Philippines that requested them to conduct an investigation but the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.

The request was coursed through to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Manila and was then forwarded to them.

Pagatpat said they will be asking the court to turn over the seized vehicles to the Bureau of Customs.

Land Transportation Office-7 Regional Director Raul Aguilos said that they have been reminding business owners who are into buying and selling cars to be cautious.

"We were warning sellers and buyers na dili sila mupalit kay definitely there will come a time that the long arm of the law will catch up on them," said Aguilos.

Aguilos said that since 2008, LTO 7 has renewed registration for cars that were smuggled.

"We have not been renewing their registration. In fact, if registered man gani ni siya, null and void and registration," Aguilos said.

Aguilos said have cases filed against agents who are suspected to have issued registration to smuggled cars.

In 2007, P200 million worth of luxury cars were seized by the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group in Makati City, Manila.

Out of the 84 cars confiscated, 81 reportedly had fake registration papers that were issued by LTO offices in Cebu.  (FREEMAN)

 

AGUILOS BUREAU OF CUSTOMS CAR MALL SALES EXECUTIVE ORDER HONDA FIT HONDA PHILIPPINES JUDGE TERESITA GALANIDA LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE MAKATI CITY MANDAUE CITY MANDAUE CITY WEDNESDAY
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