BOC selling smuggled, brand new Benz SUV for P4.7M
MANILA, Philippines—Despite recently failing to sell “hot” cars, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will again try to dispose of a smuggled, brand-new Mercedes Benz G500 it had seized to raise at least P4.7 million.
The BOC’s Port of Manila (POM) scheduled the bidding on April 27, Wednesday next week, at the Bureau of the Treasury’s (BTr) Ayuntamiento building. Similar to two previous public auctions for smuggled luxury vehicles, the BOC, the BTr, and the state-run Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) will oversee the physical and online submission and opening of bids.
The P4.7-million floor price set by the BOC comes with a bond amounting to P474,651.10, POM district collector Michael Angelo Vargas said in a notice.
The public viewing for interested bidders will be on Friday (April 22).
The sport utility vehicle (SUV) belonging to Mercedes Benz’s G Class lineup — the unit’s colored black and with an automatic transmission system — was confiscated in 2020, and currently stored inside a container van at Asian Terminals Inc.’s (ATI) South Harbor in Manila.
The BOC last December and then last January tried to dispose of five smuggled luxury cars priced at a total of at least P29 million, but the two auctions attracted no bidders.
The five cars previously placed on the auction block were a 2008 Ferrari Scuderia 430, which had a floor price of P23.2 million; a 2001 Porsche Boxster, worth at least P1.79 million; and the three Mercedes Benz units — a 2011 E220 (P1.5 million), a 2001 SLK55 (P1.3 million), and a 2001 SLK350 (P1.2 million).
While the government had changed its tack against vehicle smuggling and attempted to auction off hot cars in a bid to raise additional revenues amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III last January said that “destruction is an option” — as was done in the past to supposedly show seriousness in the anti-smuggling drive — if the vehicles can’t be sold.
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