Subic firm cleared in P40-M liquor smuggling
Posted 3 years ago
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: The Bureau of Customs (BoC) Subic has cleared a firm earlier implicated in the smuggling attempt of more than P40 million worth of expensive liquors here.
Alava Alliance Inc., a freeport enterprise involved in warehousing, transshipment, import, export, trading, and port services, was earlier tagged as consignee of the transshipment cargo consisting of 1,321 boxes of expensive liquor from a closed van that was about to leave the Freeport on December 24, 2017.
But the BoC Subic, after conducting hearings on the seized items, cleared Alava Alliance of wrongdoing based on evidence, but merely a consignee.
“Alava Alliance and its officers had no participation, direct or otherwise, in the overt act of BCR Trucking driver in bringing the shipment out of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone,” the order signed by Subic District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr. said.
The order also took note of BCR officials’ admission during the hearing that none of them talked to any Alava Alliance officials to engage their trucking services.
Cherry Springael, one of the three brokers banned permanently by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority from doing business at the Freeport in connection with the foiled smuggle, has issued a voluntary statement admitting that she asked Alava Alliance to be the consignee on record for the cargo for transshipment.
Springael, during the hearing also cleared broker Ellen Baylon of participation in the foiled smuggling and pointed to another broker John Louie Pabico as the one who diverted the cargo of expensive liquors bound for transshipment to Vietnam.
Patricia Giselle Silvestre, managing director of Alava Alliance expressed relief that their company has been cleared from any involvement in the smuggling case and said the company is now looking forward to continuing its business operation at the Freeport that they have been doing for over 10 years.
The seized contraband included 54 bottles of Remy Martin Louis XIII, which reportedly sells for as much as P170,000 per bottle, and eight boxes of Remy Martin Centaure De Diamant that fetches P60,000 per bottle.