The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized P1 billion worth of counterfeit cigarettes and tax stamps in Victoria Alicia, Isabela on Saturday, the eve of the celebration of World No Tobacco Day.
In a statement over the weekend, the bureau said the raid by BOC team members and local authorities also uncovered counterfeit foreign tax stamps; indicating the cigarettes may have also being smuggled to other countries.
Authorities’ initial estimate of the seized goods was at P1 billion, pending inventory of other goods in the raided warehouse.
Meanwhile, the BOC-Ninoy Aquino International Airport also condemned 8.7 tons of illegally imported medicines, cosmetics, cigarettes and electronic goods in Trece Martires, Cavite on May 29.
According to the BOC, the hazardous goods arrived through different warehouses without proper permits and clearances.
Since these goods are unfit for consumption, these cannot be sold through public auction, according to the BOC.
The goods were destroyed using the Thermal Decomposer (Pyrolysis) facility of the Integrated Waste Management Inc. to ensure these items would not be not sold or made available in the market.
The BOC also vowed that it will continue to be vigilant against the influx of dangerous drugs, anti-social goods and hazardous substances as well as the illegal importation and exportation of prohibited and counterfeit goods.
Bernadette D. Nicolas and Recto L. Mercene