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Customs Authorities Track Down Smuggled Bugatti Sports Cars

BY JOEL C. ESCOL, Managing Editor

METRO MANILA – In a recent development, on February 2, 2024, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Manila, under the direction of its District Collector, issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) against two illicitly imported Bugatti Chiron luxury sports cars. These high-end vehicles, both 2023 models, were spotted roaming Metro Manila and its surrounding areas without proper documentation.

The luxury cars, one blue with license plate number NIM 5448 and the other red with license plate number NIM 5450, were registered under the names of foreign nationals. Acting on intelligence gathered by Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group, Juvymax R. Uy, Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio authorized the issuance of the WSD.

Deputy Commissioner Uy revealed that the BOC received information in November 2023 regarding the unauthorized entry of these vehicles, which were also openly advertised on online platforms and social media. Consequently, the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) launched an investigation, discovering frequent sightings of the vehicles in areas such as Muntinlupa, Pasig, Pasay, and Cavite. Further analysis by the Management Information Systems and Technology Group (MISTG) confirmed the absence of import documents.

Director Verne Y. Enciso of BOC-CIIS urged the public to report any sightings of the vehicles, emphasizing the importance of citizen cooperation in combating smuggling. Informants may be eligible for cash rewards as per Section 1512 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and CAO 03-2022.

The issuance of the WSD, in accordance with relevant sections of the CMTA, initiates seizure and forfeiture proceedings against the vehicles. The owners will be required to justify why the luxury sports cars should not be confiscated and may face charges for violating customs regulations.

Commissioner Rubio underscored the BOC’s commitment to addressing smuggling activities, urging the public to assist in identifying those involved. The agency stands firm in its resolve to uphold the law and ensure accountability for offenders. Citizens are encouraged to report any relevant information promptly to the BOC.

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