Two charged with smuggling cars from Japan, US

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2013 12:54 PM | Updated as of Mar 21 2013 08:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The Bureau of Customs (BOC) filed smuggling charges against two consignees of 14 alleged smuggled right-hand drive vehicles from Japan and several other cars from the US.

Anthony F. Soriano, owner of RANTHS General Merchandise, and Sonny H. Villatuya, were charged before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday.

Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon alleged that Soriano is responsible for smuggling a used Range Rover, Mini Cooper and Nissan 350-Z at the Port of Davao last Feb. 9. The said shipment, contained in a 40-foot container van, is estimated to cost P3 million.

Villatuya, meantime, is allegedly responsible for illegally importing 14 used right-hand drive vehicles from Japan worth P5 million. The shipment was seized upon arrival at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) in December last year.

Respondents were charged for violations of the Tariff and Customs Code, the Executive Order No. 156 which banned the importation of used vehicles (except light trucks, buses and special-purpose vehicles), and Republic Act No. 8506 or An Act Banning the Registration and Operation of Vehicles with Right-hand Steering Wheel.

The cases were filed under the lead of the BOC's Run After the Smugglers group.