MANILA, Philippines ? The Bureau of Customs created a fact-finding team Monday to lead the investigation into the smuggling of over P25 million worth of automatic rifles off the coast of Mariveles, Bataan last week.
In an interview, Customs commissioner Napoleon Morales said he gave the eight-man committee to complete its probe and file criminal charges against all individuals involved in the gunrunning case within 30 days.
"We want air-tight criminal cases based on solid evidences and not just hearsays against all persons behind this gun smuggling incident," Morales told the Inquirer.
Morales named Custom legal department chief Simplicio Domingo to head the team while Enforcement and Security Service head Nestorio Gualberto was assigned as vice chair.
Aside from the South African captain and 13 Georgian crew members of the MV Captain Ufuk, Morales said he ordered the filing of cases against one David Smith, the registered owner of the private yacht that supposedly transported the Galil firearms from the ship.
Also charged with smuggling and violation of the country's immigration law was British national Bruce Jones, said to be the original captain of the seized ship.