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Auctioning of smuggled goods barred by President Duterte

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By Genalyn Kabiling

Smuggled goods will be destroyed, instead of placing them on auction, based on a new directive of President Duterte.

President Rodrigo Duterte (front L) along other government officials inspect luxury vehicles prior to destroying them at a ceremony at the customs yard in Manila on February 6, 2018, after they were seized for being smuggled illegally.  (AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE / MANILA BULLETIN)

President Rodrigo Duterte (front L) along other government officials inspect luxury vehicles prior to destroying them at a ceremony at the customs yard in Manila on February 6, 2018, after they were seized for being smuggled illegally.
(AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President said he wanted to end the “insanity” behind the auction of smuggled goods, which he claimed abused by the smugglers in cahoots with some custom agents.

“From now on, there will be no auction of smuggled goods. It will be destroyed once it has been redeemed and I will take note of those people who are there,” the President said during the oath-taking of new government appointees in Malacañang last Tuesday.

The President lamented that some customs personnel were conniving with the smugglers, who use fictitious consignee names to obtain the confiscated goods during the auction.

“The consignee is fictitious. Then the corrupt office there in the Customs, the auction section and after a while, while they are being parked inside the warehouses, if the time comes for government to make the accounting, they would conduct the auction and sell it to the people who really, in the first place, were responsible of importing them,” Duterte said.

“This insanity has to stop,” he added.

The President issued the directive a few days after the destruction of smuggled luxury cars in Manila, Cebu, and Davao. Duterte said he preferred the smuggled vehicles to be destroyed than put up for auction to curb smuggling activities. He claimed that car smugglers have taken advantage of the auction to get the cars at cheaper prices and with legal documents.

Recently, the President identified Cebu for being “famous” for the entry of smuggled vehicles into the country. Furious at the rampant smuggling, Duterte also said he would “abolish” the auction office at the Bureau of Customs.

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