Davao-based trader faces smuggling raps
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs filed Thursday, December 5 charges before the Department of Justice against a Davao-based trader for attempting to smuggle P25 million worth of used vehicles and clothing.
According to Customs, We Pick Me Marketing, owned by Soraida Limpao, attempted to smuggle 27 units of used Honda Fit and Toyota BB vehicles with an estimated total value of P18 million, and a 40-foot container van filled with used clothing worth P7.5 million.
The clothes from Malaysia were misdeclared as blankets and beddings, while the vehicles from Japan that were shipped completely knocked down were misdeclared as truck parts.
The shipments were seized by Customs personnel at the port of Dadiangas after an alert order was issued against the shipments.
Republic Act 4653 prohibits the commercial importation of used clothing for health and sanitary reasons, while Executive Order (EO) 156 bans the importation of surplus vehicles unless exempted.
The new case brings to 112 the total number of smuggling cases filed during the term of outgoing Customs Chief Rozzano Rufino "Ruffy" Biazon.
Of the 112, 28 are already for resolution, according to BOC Revenue Collection and Monitoring Group head Maria Edita Tan.
Tan vowed the bureau will continue to strengthen its Run After The Smugglers (RATS) program despite changes in leadership.
Finance Undersecretary John "Sunny" Sevilla will take over as officer-in-charge of Customs on Saturday, December 7.
Biazon resigned from his post on Monday, December 2, three days after the Justice department implicated him in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.
Tan said Sevilla has assured her that "it will be business as usual" once he takes over. – Rappler.com
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