Smuggled luxury cars intercepted again in familiar modus operandi

Published June 10, 2021, 2:46 PM

by Betheena Unite

Same scheme, same failed result.

Three smuggled luxury vehicles—reportedly hidden behind used tires–were uncovered anew at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) in what has now become a familiar modus operandi, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Thursday, June 10.

SAME MODUS— Another shipment of luxury vehicles amounting to P16 million was seized at the Manila International Container Port. This is the third interception of smuggled luxury vehicles in a span of three weeks. (Photo courtesy of the BOC)

A brand new white 2021 Land Cruiser, a second-hand red 2016 Nissan GTR, and a second-hand black 2020 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe were found in a shipment consigned to ADFINEST Marketing Corp on June 9. The shipment has an estimated value of P16 million.

It was the third interception of smuggled luxury vehicles in less than three weeks at the MCIP.

Alvin Enciso, chief of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP), said that the latest operation was still in line with the port’s “Coplan Tsekot” which aims to prevent the illegal importation of vehicles into the country.

“We will continue to monitor these shipments because there has been a series of smuggled vehicles trying to come into the country. That has been evident this past month alone,” he added.

Enciso was referring to the two seized shipments of luxury vehicles worth an accumulated P30 million on May 26 and June 2. Both shipments were consigned to JLFDM Consumer Goods Trading.

The cars, discovered inside container vans, were hidden behind bales of used clothing or “ukay-ukay.”

A warrant of seizure and detention (WSD) has already issued against the June 9 shipment.

Enciso said an investigation is now under way, with the consignee facing possible violation of Section 1400 in relation to Section 1113 of Republic Act (RA) 10863, also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA); as well as the lack of authority to import used vehicles from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero lauded the work of the CIIS and MICP after thwarting three attempted smuggling activities in the past three weeks alone.

“We have put everything in place to catch these smugglers. We won’t be satisfied with what we’ve achieved and won’t stop exerting more efforts in our campaign until the message is clear to them,” the commissioner said.