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I'm reading the recent news The Philippines Just Crushed $1.2 Million in Smuggled Luxury Cars, Including a McLaren 620R (which also mentions "In 2018, [the Philippines president] had over $8 million worth of vehicles destroyed") and wondered: why does the government of the Philippines destroy illegally imported luxury cars instead of using or reselling them?

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  • These cars are probably stolen or otherwise of unknown ownership. Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 1:26
  • @KeithMcClary return to owner if known, and sell otherwise? Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 1:30
  • Presumably there are reasons they're not supposed to be imported. Those reasons would be undermined if they just imported the cars anyway. Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 11:56
  • @user253751 resell them abroad? Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 17:46
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    @FranckDernoncourt the government probably doesn't want to get into the business of selling used cars. Too much hassle. Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 17:49

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One issue is how you would sell the cars and at what price. The usual way to sell seized items is an auction where they would be expected to fetch a low price. This would further undermine the legal market and could even allow the smugglers to recover the cars and still turn a profit. The latter has been cited as the reason behind the decision to destroy them:

Since 2018, after a directive from Philippino President Rodrigo Duterte, the BOC has opted to destroy smuggled cars rather than auction them, in order to send a strong warning to smugglers as well as prevent them from reclaiming their cars at auction.

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  • Thanks, interesting I didn't expect that reason. E.g. could set minimum prices, prevent smugglers from partaking auctions, sell abroad to prevent side effects to the local market, etc. Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 12:39
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    @FranckDernoncourt $1.2 million isn't very much to a government
    – Caleth
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 12:42
  • @Caleth They seem to be in the habits of distructing cars e.g. still from robbreport.com/motors/cars/… " In 2018, he had over $8 million worth of vehicles destroyed". I'd compare it to the local median wage, which is 12,955 USD/year. Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 12:46
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    @FranckDernoncourt if you could prevent smugglers from taking part in auctions, you could presumably prevent them from smuggling by arresting them.
    – Jontia
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 12:49
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    But it would be fairly easy to export the cars and sell them abroad.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 16:49

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