Cigarettes with fake tax stamps seized in Tacloban port

TACLOBAN CITY –- The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue discovered here Wednesday cigarettes manufactured by Mighty Corporation that bear fake tax stamps.

Armed with a BOC special order, BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon led the opening of 400 master cases of cigarettes stored in container vans unloaded on Monday night from a cargo vessel at the city’s port.

Using a taggant reader, the joint BOC and BIR team found that the cigarette packs have counterfeit tax stamps.

Faeldon pursued the operation despite the 20-day Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by Judge Tita Bughao Alisuag of Branch 1 of the Regional Trial Court in Manila on the enforcement of BOC’s mission order against Mighty Corporation.

Faeldon got irked of the TRO. “I really question the intention of this TRO. Why will they not just allow BOC and BIR to conduct investigation for them to prove to the public that they are not evading billions of pesos of taxes?” Faeldon told reporters.

Meanwhile, Mighty Corporation lawyer Tyron Tutaan insisted that customs officials should honor the TRO that took effect on March 3 until March 23.

“With the court order, the Bureau of Customs is prohibited from enforcing their mission order against Mighty Corporation,” Tutaan added.

Faeldon said they are confident that they will be able to file an air tight case against Mighty Corporation with all the pieces of evidence they have gathered in various operations. Jasmin Bonifacio/PNA-northboundasia.com