MANILA — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday seized an undetermined quantity of counterfeit cigarettes of various brands estimated to be worth PHP1 billion in a warehouse in Nueva Ecija.
Authorities also arrested 20 Chinese nationals and 100 Filipinos suspected to be engaged in illegal operations.
Armed with a Letter of Authority (LOA) signed by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, members of the BOC-Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) raided the warehouse in Cabiao town which was suspected of being the base of clandestine operations for the manufacture of bogus cigarettes.
In a statement Saturday, the BOC said also seized from the raid were three boxes of fake Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) stamps, five lines of cigarette making machine with three machines per line, six lines of packing machines, one filter making machines, one mixer, one dryer and raw materials believed to be used in making counterfeit cigarettes.
The brands being counterfeited are Two Moon Blue, Two Moon Menthol and Marvels.
BOC-ESS is currently conducting an inventory of the seized products.
It will also conduct an investigation to determine the appropriate cases to be filed in relation to the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
The raid was in coordination with Cabiao Municipal Police Station, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 3, Philippine National Police Regional Intelligence Division – Special Concern Unit 3, Regional Mobile Force Battalion 3 and local barangay officials. Ferdinand Patinio /PNA – northboundasia.com