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McLaren 620R smuggled in as Porsche Cayman to evade tax

By Tom Fraser, 11 Aug 2020 Car News

Smuggled McLaren 620R passed off as Porsche Cayman to evade tax

Someone’s in hot water after pretending their McLaren was a less expensive Porsche to dodge the taxman

A sneaky car broker from The Philippines has landed themselves in hot water after allegedly attempting to slide one past the Bureau of Customs by importing an extremely obscure and rare McLaren 620R as a Porsche Cayman in order to evade importation taxes.

The little-known McLaren 620R is billed as the road-going version of the 570S GT4 race car, and was imported in late July and subsequently seized on August 3 by customs officials. 

Read next: The non-luxurious cars that fall afoul of the Luxury Car Tax

An attempt was made to disguise the McLaren, valued at the equivalent of AU$940,501 and carrying AU$478,014 of import duties, as a new Porsche Cayman - which would have meant a far-friendlier tax bill.

McLaren 620R revealed news

In addition to labelling the McLaren as a Porsche Cayman, the consignee and broker only paid AU$42,000 in taxes, which is a far cry from the required duties expected of the McLaren’s true value.

The Port of Manilla district collector, Michael Angelo Vargas, immediately issued a warrant of seizure and detention of the McLaren 620R shipment. The consignee and broker are now facing possible charges of breaching the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act to the tune of almost half a million dollars. Ouch.

MORE: So what is the Luxury Car Tax anyway? Here’s everything you need to know

No word is given of the fate of the supercar, though Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte is notoriously harsh on criminals and has taken a hard-line stance against corruption in the past, notably crushing AU$7.6 million worth of smuggled exotics cars (below). 

We hold out hope that the special McLaren 620R won't meet with the same fate... but we wouldn’t be surprised to see its untimely death displayed publically as a matter of principle.

Read next: McLaren 620R is a GT4 racer for the road

It’s understandable that the importer would try and cut down on taxes – Asian countries have some of the highest car taxes in the world. But to blatantly lie on the importation documents is a bold move. And props to the customs officials who knew the difference between a McLaren and a Porsche.

Lesson learned: don’t try to pull the wool over the eyes of your government, especially if you’re from The Philippines. 

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