Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, March 03, 2007

5 smuggled luxury cars seized in shop

Authorities seized yesterday five smuggled luxury vehicles worth P27 million during a raid on a shop in Quezon City.

Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales said a team led by Task Force Anti-Smuggling executive director Alexander Arcilla and Task Force Subic chief Jose Calimlim confiscated the illegal items inside Autotrend Car Shop in Timog.

The cars consisted of a Corvette, a Nissan Armada, two BMWs and an Audi and were believed in the same shipment of 11 other brand new vehicles that slipped out of the free port.

“The raid came up several weeks following reports sent to my office,” said Morales, adding that several imported brand new luxury vehicles were stolen from the legitimate importers by two Korean nationals.

The Korean nationals reportedly forged the receipt of the vehicles and spirited the units out of the Subic Bay Freeport without paying the proper duties and taxes.

Morales issued a mission order to task force special operations group which traced the transactions back to the free port.

In a coordinated operation, police said car shop owner Nilo Pasco informed authorities that four Koreans left the cars at Autotrend with the instruction to sell them.

Investigation showed that Pasco became suspicious about the accompanying documents which he sensed were spurious.

The five vehicles are now in the custody of Bureau of Customs District Port of Subic.

Morales also ordered a separate internal probe of Customs officers on duty who cleared the shipment and signed the documents of its release. with Jaime Pilapil
By Joel E. Zurbano - Manila Stantdard Today

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