MANILA - Some ports in Mindanao are allegedly being used as entry points for smuggled vehicles and other questionable shipments, an official of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said yesterday.
Jesse Dellosa, BOC Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group, said at least 15 luxury vehicles at the Dadiangas port have been issued alert orders.
He said once the importers of the vehicles pay the correct taxes, the alert order will be lifted.
Dellosa made the disclosure days after it was reported that four units of Toyota Prado amounting to P12 million allegedly went missing at Dadiangas port in Mindanao on Feb. 19 and surfaced four days later at the Manila International Container Port.
Reports said the undervalued sport utility vehicles came from Dubai.
The 15 luxury cars came from different countries and belonged to different importers, including Ayumi Rose Marketing that was also the alleged consignee of the four units of Toyota Prado.
“Ayumi Rose is a legitimate company but we are still trying to find out if there had been any violations on their part,” Dellosa said.
He said measures have been put in place to prevent smuggling at the different ports in Luzon and the Visayas.
The Customs official said they are currently monitoring the ports in the Mindanao region.
“The trend is that illegal shipments enter Mindanao, especially in Dadiangas and General Santos City, because taxes are lower in this region,” he said.
Dellosa ordered new Davao port collector Ernesto Aradanas, a retired Army general, to intensify the campaign against smuggling in these sub-ports.
He admitted that they are having difficulty in monitoring the private ports.
“We are trying to coordinate with other law enforcement groups such as the intelligence communities of the Philippine National Police and the military so that we could receive real time information,” he added.