Another destruction of luxury vehicles might happen once litigation process is resolved

Published February 9, 2018, 7:36 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Betheena Kae Unite

Another destruction of luxury vehicles might happen in the Bureau of Customs (BOC), once the litigation process involving 22 seized luxury vehicles, including a McLaren, Lamborghini and Ferrari, is resolved.

These vehicles, which are mostly high-end sports cars or “supercars” are currently under litigation, the bureau said.

The bureau of Customs destructs thru condemnation 20 luxury cars during their 116th founding anniversary attended by President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday. Photo by Jansen Romero
A bulldozer flattens some 20 luxury cars during their 116th founding anniversary of the BOC which was attended by President Rodrigo Duterte. (Jansen Romero/ Manila Bulletin)

According to Deputy Commissioner Edward James Dy Buco, all luxury cars that were and will be seized by the bureau, once forfeited, will undergo condemnation instead of auctioning them.

The vehicles, which at the moment are under legal proceedings, include one brand-new McLaren, two brand-new 2017 Chevrolet Camaro — both considered supercars– two brand-new 2017 Range Rover, one brand-new 2017 Land Rover Evoque, 12 brand new Toyota Land Cruisers.

All vehicles were consigned to Gamma Gray Marketing and were seized at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

The MICP Law Division is expected to resolve the dispute.

The 18 luxury cars were shipped from Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and the United States and arrived at the MICP in October last year.

The cars were valued at over P107 million. According BOC, the luxury vehicles were held due to undervaluation and lack of documentary requirements from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Meanwhile, “super cars” 2005 Ferrari F430 2006 and Lamborghini Murcielago consigned to Mary Joy Aguanta and Veronica Angeles, respectively, were declared forfeited in favor of the government by the MICP. However, the case is under appeal proceedings after the importers filed an appeal.

Also considered supercars, one Lamborghini Gallardo and one Rolls Royce consigned to Allan Usman Garcia and Roy Garchitorena, respectively, were alerted in February 2018 and are now under examination and verification of import documents.

A warrant of seizure and detention will be issued once the customs authorities find a probable cause to issue the same.

“Resolving the instant cases necessitates that due process is observed by giving the parties involved the opportunity to present their case,” MICP District Collector lawyer Balmyrson Valdez said.

The shipments where these cars contained were issued alert orders due to absence of pertinent documents. The shipments were then seized by the bureau and were moved for litigation.

Earlier this week, 20 smuggled luxury vehicles were destroyed at the BOC grounds and another 10 vehicles were simultaneously destroyed at the Ports of Davao and Cebu, sending a stern warning to smugglers.

Earlier reports also claimed that a McLaren and a Lamborghini were supposedly among the vehicles destroyed Tuesday, which Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena clarified, saying that these cars are still under litigation.

The customs chief also vowed that the cases involving all remaining luxury vehicles will be resolved speedily while following the legal procedures.

“There are still a few who do illicit activities at the Bureau of Customs. This has to stop. We will not allow smugglers to blatantly disregard our laws, rules, and regulations on importation. The Bureau of Customs will be drastic in its efforts to combat smuggling and all forms of corruption,” Lapeña said