SBMA, Customs foil P2.65-M smuggle try

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and the Bureau of Customs Subic on Tuesday announced a foiled attempt to smuggle 36 units of industrial sewing machines and other industrial items valued at P2.65 million.

According to SBMA Chairman Martin Diño, Skyscraper Trading attempted to exit the Tipo Gate of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone with its cargo declared as assorted scrap materials worth P10,000 taken from the Subic Bay Apparel Corp. located at the Naval Magazine Area.

Documents obtained showed Subic Bay Apparel sold to a certain Ronaldo Fernando machineries, fabrics, furniture, equipment, accessories and other items for a lump sum of P2,650,000.

The items were supposed to be taken from the company premises starting May 9, 2017.
Diño showed the media a gate pass used by the hauler signed and approved by some SBMA departments, which approved the cargo as assorted scrap material.

The SBMA chairman said an investigation on the possible involvement of SBMA departments is now ongoing and warned heads may roll.

Subic Customs Lt. Gino Manguillian told the media one Customs personnel has been relieved and they are continuing to conduct their own investigation.

A report from the SBMA security department revealed aside from May 19, a forwarding truck also exited Tipo Gate on May 11, 2017 containing 35 units of sewing machines, 11 sewing motors and 17 pieces of office chairs.

On May 12, two forwarding trucks exited the Tipo Gate loaded with 50 units of sewing machines and assorted computers.

On May 15, 2017, two more forwarding trucks loaded with one algotel, four units of steel cabinets, 24 sewing machines and 300 rolls of fabric scraps also exited Tipo Gate.

The items, according to SBMA, were all transported to San Simon Industrial Park in Pampanga and placed on a secured building.

Both the SBMA and the Customs in Subic are still checking if taxes for these items were properly paid. (Dante M. Salvana)