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Philippine Standard Time:
17 June 2024, 00:44 AM

Owner Surrenders One of the Smuggled Bugatti Sports Cars to BOC

February 15, 2024

The owner of the red Bugatti Chiron sports car that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has been searching surrendered the luxury vehicle to the agency’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP) on February 9, 2024.

This development came barely a week after the Bureau appealed to the public for more information about the two smuggled luxury cars seen traversing the roads of Pasay, Pasig, Muntinlupa, and Cavite.

Customs Commissioner Bien Rubio lauded the immediate result of the hot pursuit as it led to the surrender of one of the searched hot cars without import documents.

“This shows what we can achieve more by working with the public. This is a big win for the Bureau as we are working toward curbing smuggling of all kinds and making sure our borders are secured from nefarious smuggling activities,” he said.

According to Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group Juvymax Uy, the red Bugatti was surrendered to the joint BOC team in a house in Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City as this was where the red sports car was being hidden.

“Our intelligence information is that the red Bugatti had been stored in a house in Alabang. Since we shared the information about the two cars publicly, it got harder for the owners to drive these anywhere,” he shared.

The registered owners of the two units of the 2023 model sports car—one colored blue (with plate number NIM 5448) and one red (with plate number NIM 5450)—are Menguin Zhu and Thu Thrang Nguyen.

The BOC is still establishing the cars’ country of origin and whether they are brand new or secondhand at the time of their importation.

BOC-CIIS Director Verne Enciso said that the Bureau had already asked the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to investigate how the cars were registered despite not having the proper importation documents.

“Of course, we want to get to the bottom of this. It’s not just about having the sports car in our possession now since it entered the country illegally, but it’s also about understanding how this happened and how such a car was registered despite having no import documents. We want to know who allowed this to happen,” he stressed.

“Our job is not yet done. The blue Bugatti is still out there. We will find it in due time,” Enciso added.

The cars, which cost around P165 million each without customs duties and taxes, have been investigated by the BOC since November 2023 after receiving “derogatory information” about them.

Early this week, the BOC asked for information about the cars and said that cash rewards await the informers or whistleblowers.

This is in accordance with Section 1512 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and CAO 03-2022, which provides a cash reward of 20 percent of the actual revenue collected.

Despite voluntarily surrendering the car, the owner will still face charges for violating Section 1400 in relation to Section 1113 of the CMTA.

Republic of the Philippines

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