MANILA - The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has seized P10-million worth of misdeclared luxury cars and auto parts at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).
In a statement Wednesday, the agency said among those seized in a recent bust were a used black Mercedes-Benz, a used white Mercedes-Benz, and parts such as wheels and tires.
The 40-footer shipment, which arrived from Hong Kong in August, was declared as containing only auto parts and was consigned to Juljerjac Trading.
"This is a prima facie evidence of misdeclaration, hence we will issue a warrant of seizure and detention against Juljerjac Trading’s smuggled motor vehicles," district collector Vincent Maronilla said.
The cars are now in the custody of the BOC for further examination and evaluation.
This is the BOC's first major bust since Commissioner Isidro Lapeña took the agency's helm in place of Nicanor Faeldon, who resigned as the bureau faced corruption allegations following the entry of a P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China.
Faeldon denied the allegations.
Aside from the luxury cars, BOC personnel also seized four other container vans of smuggled onions, carrots, and apples at the MICP on the same day.
The new Customs chief, tasked to reform the bureau now mired in corruption issues, lauded personnel who were instrumental in the seizure of the contraband.
"I commend this successful apprehension and, at the same time, I call on all BOC operatives to always safeguard our ports from any and all forms of smuggling. I am counting on you," Lapeña said in a statement.--with a report from Dennis Datu, ABS-CBN News