Saturday, April 29, 2006

Subic task force seizes seven ‘hot luxury vehicles’

By JONAS REYES, Manila Bulletin

Seven luxury vehicles were seized by operatives of the Subic Bay Anti-Smuggling Task Force led by Gen. (ret.) Jose Calimlim in an operation at the Naval Supply Depot (NSD) as part of its drive to thwart smuggling in this premier freeport.

"We want these smugglers to feel that they are not welcomed here in Subic. Their unscrupulous acts will not be tolerated in a place where President Arroyo has certainly has high hopes for," Calimlim said.

He also said that the four 20-foot container vans contained a Honda Civic, a Kia Carnival, a Kia Sonata, an Emina Estima, a Lucida Estima and two Hyundai Grace vehicles that came from other Asian countries such as Korea and Hong Kong.

He said that the estimated total value of the vehicles is R5 million, noting that some of them are second-hand.

Calimlim said that the smugglers are either using fake consignee names or fake addresses to mislead the Task Force operatives in their effort to crack down on the mastermind of these smuggling operations.

One of the consignees denied the allegations that the shipment was his and said that his firm is at present not operating in Subic Bay.

Calimlim said that the seized vehicles would be auctioned off by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) if the seized contrabands are not claimed by the owners within a certain period.

He added that he is proposing a budget allocation for the purchase of a cargo X-ray machine to ensure that all forms of smuggling will be checked in the future.

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