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Customs destroys P61.63M worth of smuggled luxury cars

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smuggled cars
President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered the destruction of smuggled luxury vehicles on Feb. 6. -- ELIJAH JOSEPH C. TUBAYAN

THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC), celebrating its 116th founding anniversary on Tuesday, Feb. 6, destroyed an initial P61.63 million worth of luxury cars as ordered by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Twenty smuggled vehicles were condemned in the Port of Manila, while seven cars were simultaneously destroyed in the Port of Davao, and three in the Port of Cebu.

These included used units of Lexus, BMW, Mercedez Benz, Audi, Jaguar, and Corvette Stringray.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that it is better to condemn the cars than to auction them off as practiced before.

“When you auction it out, there’s a good chance that the people who smuggled will participate,” he said.

The BoC apprehended a total of P44.52 billion worth of smuggled goods in 2017, with agricultural products taking the largest share at P30.2 billion, followed by P6.8 billion counterfeit goods, P6.63 billion illegal drugs, P599 million in sea and air vessels, P159.47 million automobiles, P43 million in electronic equipment, P15.5 million in general merchandise, P11 million steel products, P4 million in cement, P3.2 million in chemical products, and P61.4 million in other goods.

The bureau collected P456.91 billion in taxes last year, representing 98% of its P467.9-billion target. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan with a video report by Santiago Jose J. Arnaiz