One hundred sixteen motorcycles and six vehicles worth a total of P34.71 million were destroyed on Wednesday by the Bureau of Customs.
President Rodrigo Duterte once again witnessed the destruction of 112 units of brand new Vespa scooters and used BMW motorcycle, Harley Davidson, two units Triumph motorcycle, Mitsubishi Pajero, two units of Land Rover, and Volvo car.
Simultaneously destructed at the Port of Cebu are used 2002 Ford Ecoline E350 and 2005 Ford Ecoline E350.
The cars and motorcycles arrived on separate dates at the Manila International Container Port (MICP), Port of Subic, Port of Cebu, and Port of Iloilo.
The destruction of the vehicles was in line with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to warn all smugglers to pay the tax for their vehicle importations or have them crushed by a bulldozer. This is also to stop the fixing schemes of the smugglers conniving with some Customs employees in the usual public auction of seized cars.
“The President’s order is clear, sending a very strong message to smugglers, to stop what they have been doing. These smugglers have long been cheating the government. This has to stop.
“The connivance of smugglers with some customs employees in bringing smuggled vehicles back to the smugglers, disguised in a legitimate auction proceedings, has to stop as well, to level the playing field for the legitimate businessmen,” Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said.
Previously, the Bureau of Customs destroyed 20 high-end vehicles worth P61 million during the Bureau’s founding anniversary on February 6.
The destroyed vehicles include brands such as a classic 1969 Corvette Stingray, Jaguar, Audi, Mercedes Benz, Pajero, BMW, Ford Explorer, and Lexus.
McLaren, Ferrari and other supercars
The Bureau also seized 24 luxury vehicles including several “supercars” at the MICP which are now under litigation at the Law Division.
“I have directed those in charge of the case to facilitate the litigation of the 24 luxury cars. If the final decision of the case is in favor to the government, the same will happen to them. They will be destroyed,” Lapeña said.
Eighteen of the 24 cars including 13 brand new Land Cruisers, two units of Chevrolet Camaro, two units of brand new Range Rover, and McLaren are now forfeited, however, the importer filed an appeal to the Court of Tax Appeals. The remaining cars are still under legal proceedings. ####