The Bureau of Customs destroyed some P157 million worth of smuggled goods, including a Ferrari car, 12 units of cigarette-making machines and more than 1,000 master cases of various brands of counterfeit cigarettes at the Port of Manila.
Undersecretary Jesus Melchor V. Quitai, Special Assistant to the President witnessed the crushing of the Ferrari, boxes of fake cigarettes and the machines by a bulldozer.
The Ferrari was seized after being declared as used auto spare parts which arrived at the Port of Manila on May 13, 2019.
The fake cigarettes and imported cigarette-making machines were seized from a warehouse located in Barangay Bagacay, Tacloban City, after failing to present proof of payment of duties and taxes.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the seizure and destruction of the said goods serve as a warning to smugglers and manufacturers of fake cigarettes, saying this is in line with the directive of Secretary of Finance Carlos Dominguez to the Bureau to closely monitor the importation and manufacture of illegal cigarettes.
Meanwhile, Guerrero admitted that “many” of the bureau’s personnel are involved in graft and corruption despite efforts to eradicate irregularities.
Some of the Bureau of Customs’ personnel continue to take part such illegal activities, despite a consistent policy implementation against graft and corruption, the Customs official said.
Guerrero said that he has initiated reforms in the bureau to improve efficiency, promote transparency and remove opportunities to commit graft.
“Unfortunately, many chose to ignore such reforms and defy my instructions and they are now facing the consequences of their actions,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero vowed to rid the bureau of corrupt officials through more vigor and intensified anti-corruption drive.
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