Customs seizes P1B worth of fake cigarettes in Nueva Ecija
MANILA, Philippines – A team of law enforcers led by the Bureau of Customs seized counterfeit cigarettes from a warehouse in Nueva Ecija, and arrested some 120 people suspected to be behind the illegal operation, the BOC said on Saturday, January 18.
The confiscated cigarettes were estimated to be worth P1 billion.
The BOC Enforcement and Security Service with police and barangay officials inspected the warehouse and found an “undetermined quantity” of cigarettes with labels mimicking different brands, as well as 15 cigarette-making machines, 6 rows of packing machines, a filter-making machine, a mixer, a dryer, raw materials, and 3 boxes of fake Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) stamps.
Police arrested 20 Chinese and 100 Filipinos on site, who may be charged with violating the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, for manufacturing and selling fake goods.
In 2017, the cigarette maker Mighty Corporation settled its tax arrears with the government for a record P30 billion. The company was found to have faked BIR stamps to evade taxes.
The case of Mighty Corporation is said touted as the largest tax settlement in Philippine history. – Rappler.com