CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Bureau of Customs in Cebu stopped the release of a container van that was declared to carry used household items but yielded gun parts on Wednesday, customs officials said.
Cebu Customs District Collector Ronnie Silvestre said he stopped the release of the shipment pending complete inspection to determine the volume of gun parts that were hidden among the used household items.
So far, customs officials found ammunition and parts of M-14 and M-16 rifles.
Aside from gun parts, the container van also yielded six US-made motorcycles.
The shipment, which was declared as household goods, was consigned to Renato R. Ramos of No. 1513 J. Rizal St., Barangay Banilad, Mandaue City.
Based on the bill of lading, the shipment came from California and arrived at the Cebu International Port on Nov. 3 on board Cebu Trader, a vessel of the NYK Line.
The bill of lading stated that the shipment is composed of 100 packages and weighed 7,500 kilograms.
Silvestre said the shipment was supposed to be released today if it had passed random inspection.
The packing list of the shipment included apparel, books, kitchen utensils, plates, spoons and forks, books, a home theater system, appliances, home furnishings and furniture, among others.
But when Andre Catre and Jeffrey Alindogan, special agents of the Cebu Customs Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), conducted the random inspection, they found the ammunition and gun parts.
Once the ESS has completed the examination of the shipment, Silvestre said the Bureau of Customs would issue a warrant of seizure for the whole shipment, including the household goods, which were used to conceal the rifle components.
He said the bureau would also file charges against the importer.
“It was very obvious that it is a prohibited importation,” Silvestre said, adding that the investigation would be completed in a month.
He said importers of guns or gun parts have to possess permits from the Firearms and Explosives Office of the Philippine National Police to bring in firearms or components.