Skyjet’s new management says it will cooperate with BoC



By Rose de la Cruz


The new management of Magnum Air (Skjet) Inc. said it is willing to fully cooperate with the Bureau of Customs with regard the unpaid duties and taxes of its previous management of an imported 80-seater aircraft, which was seized by the bureau last March 29.


Similarly, it reported that it had filed syndicated estafa charges against the previous management of Skyjet, a copy of which had been furnished the BoC for the seizure proceedings.


In a statement, the new management of Skyjet said as early as December 2016, following an internal compliance audit it conducted, the company  communicated with the BOC Port of Subic its willingness to voluntarily disclose and settle any tax and duty obligation due with regard to the subject aircraft. 


This was prior to the issuance of a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) on May 2017.  The effort was made notwithstanding the lack of knowledge and participation by the new owners on the misdeeds of the previous management.


Also, the subject aircraft was legally admitted upon first importation as shown by documents submitted to the BOC seizure proceedings and the current management had long submitted its intention to settle any tax and duty obligation that may be legally due on the subject aircraft.


Finally, the present seizure case has been going on for over a year and the present management of Magnum Air (Skyjet), Inc. has consistently cooperated and participated in all the legal proceedings conducted by the BOC.


The company reiterated its support to the government’s efforts to improve the BOC and address irregularities.


The company’s new management has conducted its internal compliance audit and due diligence and has undergone management and corporate restructuring since 2016. It is committed to correcting the previous management’s erroneous practices and has proceeded to strictly comply with all applicable regulatory laws and regulations.


The company said it will comply with any lawful decision that may arise from this seizure proceeding which resulted from the previous management’s illegal acts. It will remain strong in pursuing the criminal case filed against the previous management in February 2016, long before this seizure case came about.


The bureau announced the forfeiture of the aircraft during a press conference held July 16.


Magnum Air’s new management said it is very much concerned in this issue and would like to assure the public and the authorities that it will be investigating on its own and work with the government authorities to ensure all obligations have been duly settled and the responsible be held accountable.


It apologized for any uncertainty that this issue has brought upon the riding public as it also said its operations are fully compliant and duly licensed with the Manila International Airport Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.


At Monday’s presscon, the BoC said it took custody of the plane last March 29 after its owner was unable to show proof of payment of duties and taxes and other documents on the acquisition of the aircraft and its operations.


The Bureau added that based on reports, aircraft owner and operator Magnum Air Inc. had already been delisted from the Subic Bay Freeport List Locators and had ceased operations since 2014.


According to the Bureau, the Skyjet aircraft worth P583.6 million was flagged by the District Collector of Subic Port when authorities could not find any record of import entry filed by the owner.


The inspection was conducted by the Philippine Aerospace Development Corp. (PADC) Hangar III at the Domestic Airport in Pasay City.


The forfeited aircraft was found operating in a hangar of the NAIA General Aviation Area as SkyJet Airlines when inspection was conducted by Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena together with NAIA District Collector Carmelita Talusan on Monday.


“Presently, the aircraft is forfeited in favor of the government after finding that its importation was attended with fraud and for being used in commercial flights since its importation without payment of customs duties and taxes,” said Commissioner Lapena.


Collector Talusan had reportedly forewarned the aircraft on March 29, 2017 and even requested for a Letter of Authority to demand proof of payment of duties and taxes as no record of any import entry or warehousing entry had been filed by the owners.


However, the aircraft ended up being forfeited for multiple violation of Sections 224 (Power to Inspect and Visit), 400 (Goods to be Imported through Customs Office), 401 (Importation Subject to Goods Declaration) and 405 (Liability of Importer for Duties and Taxes) in relation to Section 1113 (Property Subject to Seizure and Forfeiture) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.


Magnum Air Inc. has been given 15 days to present the ownership and operation documents of the aircraft and directed the company to pay around P90,000 for customs duties and taxes on top penalties and charges.


The company is also said to have already filed an appeal against the forfeiture order of the Port of NAIA which is now pending hearing at the Legal Services.


BoC said that if the company fails to comply with the requirements, it would result in the issuance of a Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the Skyjet aircraft, which will then undergo a public auction.  (With reports from Daily Tribune)


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Thursday, 21 March 2019
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