SBMA police seizes P40-M worth of smuggled liquor
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – At least P40-million worth of smuggled liquor was confiscated recently by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) police operatives here.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma said SBMA Law Enforcement Department operatives seized the contraband even before it could be spirited out of the Freeport on Christmas Eve. Eisma said a total of 1,321 boxes of expensive liquor from a closed van that was about to leave the Freeport was seized from a 40-footer container van parked at the Subic Seaport Terminal. “Some unscrupulous parties would really take advantage of the Christmas season to try to pull away illegal activities in the Freeport, but this only proves that the SBMA Law Enforcement Deparent is ready at all times to do their duty,” Eisma said. “This is a job well done for the SBMA and another huge failure for those who try to use Subic for their smuggling operation,” she said.
According to a report by Major Vicente Tolentino, head of the SBMA Law Enforcement Department, the seized contraband included 54 bottles of Remy Martin Louis XIII, which sells as much as P170,000 per bottle, and eight boxes of Remy Martin Centaure De Diamant, which fetches P60,000 per bottle. Tolentino said the SBMA police began the operation on Christmas Eve after a tipster informed them that a closed van and a Nissan Patrol SUV would attempt to smuggle contraband from the Freeport. He said that operatives posted along the Argonaut Highway monitored the vehicles and tailed them to the 14th Street Gate where they were stopped by sentries. The van, bearing File No. 036404 of BCR Trucking, was driven by 41-year old Julio Flores, along with helper Marvin Arcega. The two failed to present necessary documents when accosted by the police, Tolentino said. The van contained 275 boxes of Remy Martin Cognac Champagne, 448 boxes of Martini, 66 boxes of Remy Martin XO, 17 boxes of Remy Martin Champagne, eight boxes of Remy Martin Louis XIII, eight boxes of Remy Martin Centaure De Diamant, seven boxes of Remy Martin Club, and seven boxes of Remy Martin. A follow-up operation on Thursday led operatives to a white Isuzu Giga cab with the markings “Sinfa Logistics Inc.,” which was parked at the Subic Seaport Terminal in the Boton Wharf. The 40-footer container van on its trailer contained the rest of the contraband: 333 boxes of Remy Martin, 196 boxes of Remy Martin XO, 1 box of Remy Martin Club, one box of Martini, two boxes of Remy Martin, and 10 boxes of Remy Martin Louis XIII. Tolentino said the SBMA police conducted an inventory of the smuggled items last Thursday and Friday in the presence of representatives from the Bureau of Customs, the SBMA Seaport Department and members of the media. On Friday, Tolentino formally turned over the items and the vehicles containing them to Ciriaco Ugay, OIC-Collector of the Bureau of Customs in the Port of Subic.