Lawmakers seek probe of luxury car smuggling at Cagayan de Oro port
MANILA, Philippines — Two lawmakers from Mindanao have called for a congressional probe into reports that the Cagayan de Oro port has become a smuggling hub for luxury cars.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and his brother Abante Mindanao Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. expressed alarm over reports that luxury vehicles valued at P150 million were smuggled into the country from Italy and the United Arab Emirates through the Port of Cagayan de Oro.
The imported luxury cars arrived in the country between Dec. 31, 2013 and Feb. 8, 2014, and were released in the Port of Cagayan de Oro and its sub-ports, the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) in Misamis Oriental and in Ozamis City, Rufus Rodriguez said, citing reports.
The smuggled vehicles reportedly included Toyota Land Cruisers, Prados, Mercedez Benz, BMW, Range Rover and sports cars that were declared as mere motor vehicles.
The Rodriguez brothers filed House Resolution 1596, asking the House ways and means committee to “dig deep into the issue to determine the steps that must be taken to put an end to the illegal activity.”
They said Cagayan de Oro port’s strategic location within Macajalar Bay, has made Cagayan de Oro City the gateway to Mindanao, and the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Agusan del Norte and Davao.
“There is a need to look into this issue and determine if indeed, smuggling of vehicles is happing in the CDO Port and, if so, determine ways on how to further prevent it,” the lawmakers said.
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