Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, December 02, 2004

GMA hails seizure in Subic of container van carrying smuggled cars

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today hailed the seizure of a container van containing smuggled luxury vehicles by agents of Task Force Subic headed by retired general Jose M. Calimlim, saying it’s a major strike against smugglers.
The container van, which documents claimed to contain utility vehicles, was found to actually have a Mercedes Benz sports car and two other luxury vehicles which Subic Customs Collector Atty. Tita Zamoramos said was a clear case of technical smuggling.

Calimlim, former chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), said intelligence reports have it that the shipment was only the first of 20 vans declared as containing automotive spare parts but actually full of luxury vehicles.

"The German sports cars we found this morning are just the lead shipment ," Calimlim said. "According to my intelligence agents, there will be at least 20 more container vans declared as automotive spare parts to disguise luxury cars which will be arriving from abroad," he said.

The suspect shipment was consigned to Bayshore Merchandising Ltd. the owners of which are still being checked by Calimlim’s agents.
Calimlim, the scourge of smugglers when he headed Task Force Aduana, is among three officials handpicked by the President to clean up the Clark-Subic Freeport Zone and make it the logistics hub of Southeast Asia.

The powerful triumvirate, which took over the management of the Subic Freeport Oct. 18, includes Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Francis Licuanan and administrator Alfredo Antonio. Calimlim is president of the Freeport Services Corp. and SBMA senior deputy for operations, in addition to being commander of the Task Force Subic.

"The task force has secured the Subic seaport in anticipation of the additional smuggled luxury cars. Our information is that the shipments are not just Mercedes Benzes but also BMWs and Ferraris from Europe, transshipped either via China or Hong Kong. We will be checking strictly all vessels arriving at the Freeport zone," Calimlim said.

Task Force Subic was created by Executive Order 384 signed by President Macapagal-Arroyo on Nov. 8 this year. Unlike other task forces, which are of ad hoc or temporary nature, TF Subic is a permanent crime arm of SBMA. It is funded from the regular annual SBMA budget, unlike other task forces which depend on national contingency funds


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