UPDATE: Wanna buy a plane? BOC seizes Skyjet aircraft after owner Dino Chua racked up P90M in unpaid duties
The Bureau of Customs has taken custody of an 80-seater Skyjet aircraft after its owner, bilyonaryo-politko Dino Chua, failed to pay P90 million in duties and taxes.
Customs Commissioner Sid Lapeña has sounded off plans to auction the BAE 146-100 plane to recover the government’s receivables.
¨The aircraft was first alerted on March 29, 2017 by Collector [Carmelita] Talusan as then district collector of Port of Subic and 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 was filed by the owners,¨ said Lapeña.
“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,” Lapeña said.
Skyjet’s owner, Magnum Air, was stripped off its tax and duty privileges by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority in 2014.It was recently seized at a hangar in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after authorities discovered it continued making commercial flights without settling its duties and taxes form 2014 to 2017.
Chua who took over the airline – which flies to Batanes, Coron, Siargao and Boracay – in 2014, just two years after it was started by the group of Joel Mendoza.
Chua is currently the mayor of Noveleta town in Cavite.
UPDATE: The original article stated Chua was an owner-partner of Astoria Hotels group.
Astoria’s lawyer wrote Bilyonaryo a letter clarifying that it does not have any connection with the Skyjet owner and “the affiliation made by Chua has long beem terminated.”
The lawyer claimed that Astoria Hotels “merely took over” One Greenbelt Hotel in 2015 and manages the property without any affiliation with Chua.