Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Task Force Subic intercepts P15-M jewelry shipment

By Malou Dungog, MT Central Luzon Bureau

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: The antismuggling Task Force Subic and agents of the Bureau of Customs here scored another victory after they seized on Wednesday some P15-million worth of imported jewelry and wristwatches which were shipped through an international courier service.

The Task Force Subic chief, retired general Jose Calimlim, said about 22 kilos of expensive assorted diamond-studded jewelry were placed in two boxes that arrived at the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) from Hong Kong onboard a Federal Express cargo plane two days ago.

The shipment consigned to Intex Marketing Corp., a Subic free-port locator, was declared as computer parts for transshipment from Subic to Manila.
The Hong Kong shipper was International Logistics Gateway (HK) Ltd at the Wealth Commercial Center at 48 Kwong Wa so in Mongkok, Hong Kong.
Customs District Collector Marietta Zamoramos said the discovery of the shipment was based on intelligence reports that several shipments destined for offloading at the Manila Port Container Yard at the Port Area in Manila were diverted to the Subic free port.

“There were reports that some baggage entering Subic are not reaching the Port of Manila or Manila International Airport, so in coordination with the Customs Manila, Collector Zamo­ramos made an arrangement that we are going to conduct random check on baggage transshipped from Subic to Manila which resulted to this one,” Calimlim said.
“We looked into Intex Marketing Corp. and it so happened that the two cartons declared as computer parts actually contained expensive jewelry and wristwatches,” he added.
Appraisers and gemologists estimated the value of the contraband shipment at P15 million, a very conservative estimate which will likely increase, he explained.
Calimlim said around 70 agents from Task Forcve Subic and the Customs were assigned to conduct an inventory of the smuggled items.
“The inventory of the jewelry alone lasted more than five hours because of its volume,” he added. “This should serve as a warning to smugglers in Subic or any part of the country, that the government is serious in its drive against all forms of smuggling.

Calimlim said the task force is checking on the activity of Intex. “We don’t have proof yet that they are doing it regularly but based on our random check Intex Marketing misdeclared the shipment and this a very clear case of technical smuggling.


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