TWO personal water craft and a luxury sports car worth more than P2 million combined were confiscated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in two anti-smuggling operations in Cebu.
Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña, who led the seizure of the vehicles yesterday, told reporters this was the biggest haul in Cebu so far this year.
In a press conference, BOC Cebu District Collector Elvira Cruz told reporters the bureau uncovered the items in February and March. The two Kawasaki Jet Skis, worth at least P400,000 each, arrived in Cebu from the United States last Feb. 6.
The cargo containers that held the two Jet Skis were consigned to Imerex Group of Companies Inc., which is based in the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City. A certain Christopher Saavedra was identified by the BOC as the customs broker behind the shipment.
The BOC’s X-Ray Inspection Project (XIP) office found the two Jet Skis in a consolidated shipment that included household goods and personal effects in balikbayan boxes.
Cruz said she issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) because the two vehicles had not been declared.
The sports car, a 2008 Porsche, was discovered by Customs officials only last week. Cruz said the car, worth at least P1.5 million, was consigned to a certain Leandro Romanillos from Oslob town.
While the Porsche was properly declared, it was seized by BOC as it lacked the required Certificate of Authority to Import from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Lapeña said that while the two personal water craft will be auctioned off, the Porsche will be destroyed in keeping with President Rodrigo Duterte’s orders regarding smuggled luxury vehicles.
The President earlier announced that all smuggled luxury cars confiscated by BOC should be destroyed immediately to prevent them from being sold at cheaper prices by importers.
Lapeña said he has instructed Cruz to investigate the consignees behind the two shipments and file the appropriate cases against them. Cruz confirmed that the bureau already met with the consignees of the two shipments, who will be investigated.
Lapeña warned potential smugglers that any attempts to misdeclare goods they deliver to every port in the country will be met with strict sanctions.
“The campaign against smuggling as well as strictly checking foreign shipments will continue to intensify. We continue to issue alert orders against suspected shipments and we have been successful so far. This should serve as a strong warning against smugglers to stop shortchanging the government,” Lapeña added.