A fleet of luxury cars — potentially worth millions of dollars — will be crushed rather than auctioned off by the Bureau of Customs.
The vehicles, which are now kept in a warehouse at Cagayan free port, include a McLaren sports car, Lamborghini, Range Rover and Ferrari. They were seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) last year for “undervaluation and failure to present documentary requirement from the Bureau of Internal Revenue”.
Raul Lambino, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority administrator, described the value of the luxury cars as “immaterial” because they were the “fruit of a poisonous tree”.
In an interview with Rappler, he said: “The president is very clear in his instructions and directives that we should follow the rule so if they violate, let’s apply the most extreme remedy or penalty. And the decision of the government is to destroy these cars.
“For us, it’s immaterial whatever the cost of that car because the mere fact that they came into the country in violation of our existing laws, rules and regulations, nobody should profit from a fruit of a poisonous tree.
“If you’re going to deliver a strong message that this government is serious in fighting corruption, smuggling and other illegal activities, that will either be more profitable. The benefit the entire nation could get would not be quantified by the worth of these cars.”
It has also been announced that agricultural products and other smuggled goods worth 13 million pesos will be destroyed.
BOC Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said smuggled goods that were auctioned off eventually ended up back in the hands of the smugglers.
Commissioner Lapeña, a former head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, was appointed by President Duterte to succeed Nicanor Faeldon, who resigned amid the 6.4 billion-peso shabu shipment controversy.