160 container vans yield smuggled SUVs, agri products

By Nestle L. Semilla |November 24,2017 - 10:42 PM

TWENTY high-end SUVs — Toyota Land Cruisers — inside 10 container vans worth P80 million were among the smuggled items in 160 container vans confiscated by the Bureau of Customs-Cebu yesterday.

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena estimated the smuggled goods at P160 million, which include the SUVs, tiles, round steel bars and agricultural products, which were apprehended at the Port of Cebu from October to November this year.

“Dumating ito (the 160 container vans) separately. Iba’t-ibang barko. But we were able to monitor sa mga arrival ng mga yan base sa information coming from the people within the bureau lang din,” said Lapena, who led the opening of the container vans.

(The 160 container vans arrived separately in different ships. But we were able to monitor the arrival dates of the shipments based on the information coming from the people within the bureau.)

The container vans contained items coming from China, Japan and United States of America.

The 10 containers contained high-end sports utility vehicles from Japan and the US. The agricultural products were placed in 70 containers while the tiles were in 80 containers.

The SUVs and tiles were undervalued while the agricultural products were misdeclared.

Lapeña said that in the documents, the vehicles cost only P1.5 million each when these SUVs — Toyota Land Cruisers — were worth at least P4 million each.

While the agricultural products were declared as apples, there were only three boxes that had apples and the rest were carrots and potatoes.

Lapeña said that carrots and potatoes have taxes while apples have zero tariffs.

Wivina Pumatong, BOC-Cebu officer in charge, said that the containers arrived in Cebu in three batches.

The first batch arrived last week of October while the next two batches arrived during the first and second week of November.

“Halo-halo na siya. Yung first batch mostly they were tiles. The second batch mostly the high-end vehicles,” Pumatong said.

She said that the tiles, steels and the agricultural products all came from China.

She said that the vans which contained the tiles were pegged at P800,000 or P10,000 per container van.

The vans which contained the agricultural products were pegged at P13 million./With Correspondent Fe Marie Dumaboc

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