While busy hunting car-theft gangs, the Philippine National Police's Highway Patrol Group is not letting its guard down against syndicates involved in the smuggling of right-hand-drive vehicles in the country.
Reports reaching PNP-HPG Director Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina in Camp Crame, Quezon City, said that combined elements of the Metro Cebu Criminal Investigation and Detection Team and Cebu City Police Office seized 13 RHD cars at a warehouse allegedly owned by Jin Masa, Shakeel Hussain and a certain Mr. Saim in Cebu City at around 3:45pm yesterday.
Armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Enriqueta Belarmino of Cebu City's Regional Trial Court Branch 57, the police team raided the warehouse where the 13 RHD units were being prepared to undergo conversion to left-hand drive. However, the three suspects--believed to be members of a smuggling syndicate--were not present during the raid.
According to PNP-HPG authorities, they are preparing to file criminal charges against the three for possible violation of Republic Act 8506, which prohibits the registration and use of RHD in the Philippines.
NOTE: Get a copy of Top Gear Philippines' July 2011 issue to read our story on Cebu's car culture.