The outspoken president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte sent a strong message Tuesday when he gave his nod of approval to several bulldozers to destroy 30 luxury cars seized from smugglers.
The smashed vehicles included Corvettes, Porsches, Jaguars and Mercedes, with some of them being worth hundreds of thousands of dollars per piece. Duterte’s Finance Minister underlined that “it does not pay to evade taxes” in the country, so smugglers should stop trying.
Give it to the buyer of steel,
the Philippine leader said about the destroyed cars.
He added that the steel should be used to make toys. If he had been in a bad mood, Duterte would have asked for the steel to be turned into bullets, which could be later used to hunt down and kill drug dealers in his country.
Philippine President’s Way of Being Tough on Crime
Witnesses estimate that around 30 luxury cars were pancaked on that day. According to the country’s Bureau of Customs, the Philippine government seized nearly $3 million in smuggled cars and more than $2 million in smuggled cigarettes last year.
Under the country’s laws, impounded vehicles should be sold at auction, but the President made an exception. He even assured taxpayers that he will “pay for them, no problem”.
Last week, the Philippine President announced the cars will be crushed, not sold. He explained that criminals often buy their own smuggled cars at a lower prices from state-run auctions. In other words, smugglers are forcing the state to launder its own illegal goods, according to Duterte.
Last week, Duterte underscored that many of these smugglers use “fake addresses” and “fake names” to buy their own cars after about one year, when the government puts them on auction. This way the importation of the vehicles becomes a legal activity, the leader explained.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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