The Bureau of Customs seized today assorted contraband consisting of top of the line bicycles, branded sports shoes and used clothing with a combined value of P20 million on orders of Custom Commissioner Angelito Alvarez.
The seizure and detention order was carried out by Deputy Commissioner Horacio P. Suansing, Jr. of the BOC’s Enforcement Group and Customs Police Director Nestorio P. Gualberto.
In a report he submitted to Alvarez, Suansing said the high-end bicycles were apprehended upon discovery that the consignee, Stonesider Enterprises, paid a measly sum of P73,338 for an shipment of 102 packages of US-made Cannondale Bicycles in complete-knockdown form (CKD).
Suansing said Cannondale “is a well-known US brand for high-end bikes with each unit usually costing between P50,000 and P250,000 in the local market. But the consignee made it appear that each unit had a dutiable value of only about US$50.00 or P2,200 obviously to avoid payment of rightful duties which is estimated to be around Php2.5 Million. Surely, this is tantamount to gross undervaluation which renders the shipment liable to seizure under the Tariff and Customs Code.”
The seizure of the athletic shoes, on the other hand, was made when investigation conducted by Enforcement Group operatives revealed that the consignee, Technosports Inc., made a value declaration of USD5,202.00 for the shipment which in fact consisted of 918 pairs of US-made Babolat Tennis Shoes. Suansing averred that the declared value of US$5.67 per pair was unconscionably low considering that Babolat “is a premium brand of tennis-specific footwear.”
Verification conducted by the agency accordingly revealed that each pair of Babolat tennis shoes sells for around P5,000 in the local market. It was added that efforts are currently being made by the BOC to obtain the genuine shipping documents, including the commercial invoice for both the bicycles and shoes from their respective suppliers in the United States.
Meanwhile, operatives of the Enforcement Group also apprehended two (2) container vans of used clothing initially declared by the consignee Golden E-play Systems, Inc. as fabrics and wearing apparel. Used clothing or most commonly referred to as “ukay-ukay” is a prohibited importation under Republic Act No. 4653.
According to Alvarez, the used clothing would be kept in storage and made available to the Department of Social Welfare and Development when disasters and calamities strike.
“The other confiscated articles will be auctioned off in order to generate additional revenues for the government,” he added.
In view of their latest accomplishments, Commissioner Alvarez lauded Deputy Commissioner Suansing and Director Gualberto for their continued vigilance and stated that the recent apprehensions are testament to the Bureau’s desire to plug all possible tax leakages on the way to meeting the collection target for the year 2011. He also ordered an immediate investigation of the smuggling attempts to determine the personalities involved in the fraudulent transactions.