Days after its top officials came under fire for incompetence from President Benigno Aquino himself, the Bureau of Customs said it had seized more than P19-million worth of smuggled items, including secondhand vehicles and a semi-submarine, at the Manila International Container Port.
BOC Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, who led other bureau officials during the inspection of the seized items on Friday, said the shipments were undervalued and did not have the necessary permits.
Apart from used vehicles and a semi-submarine, also confiscated were a motorcycle, used truck tires, dinner wares, body lotion, and several container vans of possibly hazardous scrap materials.
Biazon said the semi-submarine from South Korea was worth P5 million but was falsely declared by its consignee, Dionysus Trading, as outboard motor compressor parts and accessories.
The used vehicles, which were contained in four 40-foot containers, were seized by the BOC as items imported in violation of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and Executive Order No. 156 which bans the importation of right-hand drive cars and used vehicles.
The scrap plastic materials, which were contained in 14 container vans, arrived in Manila from Vietnam and Hong Kong in April.
The P2.4-million shipments were consigned to Urrutia Trading Group of Companies, Biazon said. Tina G. Santos