THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) said on Wednesday that it has confiscated in separate occasions some P775 million worth of fake goods in raids in Pasay City, Bulacan and Pangasinan
Recently, Customs operatives raided nine warehouses in Pasay City, where some P100 million worth of high-end counterfeit shoes and clothing items were seized.
Officials and personnel of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, BOC Special Studies and Project Development Committee and Intellectual Property Rights Division led the inspection of warehouses.
The team discovered huge stash of branded counterfeit items, such as Nike, adidas, Lacoste, Abercrombie, Fitch, Tribal, Havaianas, Crocs, Sandugo, Sofia the First, Winnie the Pooh, Hermes, Jag, Hello Kitty, RRJ, Levi’s, Snoopy, Lakers, Dickies, Gap, Giordano, New Balance, Bench, Fubu, Von Dutch, Mickey Mouse, Hollister and Under Armor products.
However, arrest were made as the warehouse owners were not in the premises when the raids were conducted.
Last Friday hundreds of boxes of counterfeit cigarettes with an estimated street value of P500 million, including fake Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) tax stamps worth P175 million, were confiscated in separate raids in warehouses in Bulacan and Pangasinan.
BOC authorities and provincial officials arrested seven individuals at a warehouse in Marilao, Bulacan, and 24 Chinese workers in Villasis, Pangasinan.
Among those found inside the Bulacan warehouse are volumes/packages of assorted cigarette materials such as, but not limited to, cigarette filter, dried tobacco, glue and cigarette packaging materials which are used in manufacturing cigarettes.
Finished cigarette products found and confiscated were imitations of cigarette brands Marlboro, Fortune, Jackpot, Skag and Farstar.
Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp. (PMFTC) Inc. confirmed that the samples obtained from the confiscated items were not produced locally by or with permission of Philip Morris International, and are therefore counterfeit.
Also, found in the Pangasinan warehouse were contrabands that include 11 units of cigarette making/packaging machines, 1,453 sacks of cut-filter, 27 containers of menthol solution, 1,149 master cases of assorted brands of cigarettes, 22 trays of filter, 378 rolls of inner liner, 469 rolls of clear wrap, 88 pales of glue, 1,251 packs of cigarette brand soft labels, four units of air compressor, 3,244 bundles of assorted master cases and 2,173 reams of counterfeit BIR tax stamps.
“The BOC’s capture of 11 manufacturing machines that were used by the syndicate to produce 250 cases of counterfeit cigarettes daily and feared sold in both local and international markets, with the fake BIR tax stamps, has effectively stopped huge government losses in billions of pesos in excise taxes, annually,” Customs Commissioner Nicanor E. Faeldon said.
Records show that the BIR loses an estimated P3 billion in excise taxes from counterfeit tax stamps.
The 24 undocumented foreign nationals found in Pangasinan were turned over to the Bureau of Immigration and subsequently turned over to Alien Custodian Office in Poro Point, La Union.
The seized counterfeit products and fake BIR stamps are now at a BOC security warehouse in South Harbor, Manila for safekeeping.
Faeldon said that the raids were a continuation of their operations that started two weeks ago in Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City, wherein BOC agents seized P88 million worth of counterfeit cigarettes.