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Probe of car smuggling in Phl sought
Rep. Henry Oaminal of Misamis Occidental on Friday sought the inquiry through House Resolution 1308, citing reports that within a five-week period alone from December 31, 2013 to February 8, 2014, some 34 brand new luxury vehicles were smuggled into the country.
"Unless and until these furtive activities are addressed and the connections of the smugglers are duly exposed, charged and punished accordingly, the much-ballyhooed government campaign to minimize smuggling will not just be a shot in the wilderness but worse, makes it a laughing stock,” Oaminal said.
He said the situation is totally unfair and unjust to other legitimate importers and businessmen who properly and seasonably pay their taxes and duties in their effort to help the government.
Oaminal said the smuggled vehicles, with a reported gross value of P150 million, including top of the line Toyota Land Cruisers and Prados, Range Rovers, a Mercedes Benz and a BMW, among others, passed through the ports of Cagayan de Oro City and the sub ports of Misamis Oriental and Ozamis City, all in Southern Philippines, before they were transported to Manila.
Oaminal, a vice chairman of the Committee on Mindanao Affairs, said the vehicles were reportedly brought in from Italy and at the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and declared as motor vehicle parts, which facilitated and expedited their entry into the aforesaid ports.
"This in effect may indicate that some government employees were sleeping on their jobs or worse, were in cahoots with the smugglers," said Oaminal.