Piggyback shipment | Inquirer News

Piggyback shipment

/ 06:18 AM November 26, 2011

The recent confiscation of P3.5-million worth of rifle accessories, bullets and big bikes that were misdeclared in Cebu port as “personal effects” brings to mind a similar smuggling case in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, last May.

Mindanao-based car importer Lynard Allan Bigcas was linked to the shipment following reports that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) seized 25 expensive vehicles from his properties in Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon.

Among the vehicles seized were a Chevrolet Tahoe sports utility vehicle (SUV) and a motorbike that was owned by Hollywood scriptwriter Skip Woods, who penned the films “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “The A-Team.”


During his press conference, an emotional Bigcas denied that he was involved in the smuggling. He said he went into hiding to seek protection from the powerful Dimaporo clan of Lanao province.


Bigcas also made a tearful testimony in a hearing of the House subcommittee on customs in which he claimed “he was a victim” because he’s being hunted down by authorities.

The Cagayan de Oro raid also produced a sizable confiscation of weapons.

The container van seized last Nov. 16 in Cebu City yielded gun components, ammunition and chop-chop parts of big bikes tucked behind office supplies and household items shipped from California.

A coincidence? To recall, the so-called “black book” seized from Bigcas contained entries of collectibles from elected officials and influential people for the purchase of motorbikes and vehicles.

There were also car parts, guns and gun parts.

Coincidence? Maybe.


Bigcas’ Congress testimony opened a can of worms—as if there weren’t enough creeping in the woodwork of Customs—that it caught the attention of the US government.

Was the shipment to Cebu just a careless venture by by individuals who wanted to avoid paying taxes for a gun hobby?

Speculations that a more organized smuggling ring is at work are fueled by the use of a fictious name for a consignee. “Renato Ramos” is not a resident of JP Rizal Street, Banilad, Cebu City. The real owner hasn’t come forward to claim the shipment.

The Cebu shipment is smaller than the Bigcas catch, but who’s to say it isn’t part of a smuggling ring that takes advantage of the 2nd biggest and busiest seaport in the country?

Cebu’s profile as a premier port makes it a known transshipment area for contraband.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Crooked customs personnel who abet the illegal trade pose a serious threat and the biggest challenge to the new Commissioner Ruffy Biazon.

TAGS: Customs, Smuggling

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.