Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Smuggled cargo misdeclared as computer parts


SUBIC FREEPORT — During a random check by Subic operatives led by Task Force chief Gen. (ret.) Jose Calimlim, hundreds of pieces of jewelry worth some R15 million were seized here yesterday noon.

The "hot cargo," confiscated by operatives of the Subic Bay Anti-Smuggling Task Force, was shipped from Hong Kong. A syndicate was suspected to be behind the smuggling.

The expensive cargo, weighing 22 kilos, was misdeclared as computer parts.
It was contained in two unmarked boxes consigned to Intex Marketing and Sales Corp. and shipped from Hong Kong purportedly by the International Logistics Gateway Ltd. located at the Wealth Commercial Center in Mongkok district, Hong Kong.

Customs Collector Marietta Zamoranos told General Calimlim that gold is sold at an average of R500 per gram.
"The R15-million estimated value is very conservative, considering that these are very expensive brand watches and a lot of the fine jewelry are studded with diamonds and other gemstones," Zamoranos said.

"The two packages caught the attention of the agents because they did not contain the usual markings or descriptions such as country of origin, net or gross weight or even the supplier or shipper," Calimlim said.
Zamoranos told Calimlim that it would take her examiners about five hours to inventory the jewelry haul which consisted mostly of Fendi and Bulgari brand ladies watches, bracelets, diamond-studded earrings and rings and expensive watch accessories and parts.

The examiners, led by Rene Aguilar, were assisted by Lt. Lauro Gregorio, a jewelry expert whom Zamoranos brought here from the Customs office in Manila.


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