Industry > Mess

Bureau of Customs seizes China-sourced smuggled car parts

Worth P150 million, the items were being passed off as ‘Made in Japan’

Are Customs officials really clueless as to who aids the smugglers? PHOTO FROM BUREAU OF CUSTOMS

The Bureau of Customs has announced that it raided on Friday a compound in Quezon City that stored “suspected smuggled car parts from China.” The operation—conducted in cooperation with the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine Coast Guard—was reportedly able to seize P150 million worth of automotive parts and accessories, which, according to BOC, were being sold as products made by “Japan-based car companies.”

The announcement named two companies—Maxtro Marketing Corporation and Bestat Auto Parts Corporation—as being involved in the smuggling business. The compound, which includes an auto parts store and five warehouses, is located at 419 Quirino Highway in Barangay Talipapa, Quezon City. The organization is said to be owned by a well-connected an unnamed Filipino-Chinese businessman.

How do these smuggled car parts enter the country? That is the real question. PHOTOS FROM BUREAU OF CUSTOMS

“Repackaging inferior and substandard car parts and making them appear as Japanese brands is deceiving the Filipino buyers,” said BOC, which warned the public “to be wary of such modus operandi being run by some businessmen.”

Supposedly found inside the warehouses were “packaging materials” that bore the phrase “Made in Japan.”

Will this raid strike fear in the hearts of the smugglers? We’ll see about that. PHOTO FROM BUREAU OF CUSTOMS

In a country where bribery is rampant, this news shouldn’t surprise anyone. Ho-hum. What we’d like to see is the Bureau of Customs actually cleaning up its ranks and putting in jail officers and employees who aid these smugglers. We’ll keep waiting.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 26 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.