3:40 am | Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has asked the embassy of Laos to justify its duty-free importation of three high-end sports cars—a Ferrari Spider and two Lamborghini Aventadors.
Customs Commissioner Rufino Biazon told the Inquirer the BOC at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) had declared the three exotic cars as “abandoned” since their consignees had not processed their papers since the vehicles arrived in November last year, or more than the 30-day limit to claim them.
“The official and full report is being prepared by district collector (Carlos) So but offhand, unofficially, it’s confirmed that the Lao embassy is acknowledging the shipments,” said Biazon in an interview.
An official of the Lao Embassy said it had submitted its reply to BOC and declined to discuss the matter.
A source in the BOC said the Spider and Aventadors were supposed to be delivered to different consignees at the same address: 34 Lapu-Lapu St., Magallanes Village, Makati City, care of the Embassy of Laos.
Since they arrived on Nov. 28, nobody has come forward to claim the cars after BOC agents questioned why diplomats would buy fast cars as their service vehicles.
Biazon said the BOC would auction off the Ferrari and Lamborghinis if the Lao embassy fails to justify the use of its duty-free perk to bring in the pricey vehicles.
“An order of abandonment was already issued. It is a step closer to seizure. The embassy says there’s a pending application for clearance at the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs). If the processes and requirements are not complied with, we will still be able to seize them,” said Biazon.—Gil C. Cabacungan
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