THE Bureau of Customs seized eight cigarette-making machines worth P200 million inside two warehouses in San Simon, Pampanga, which can produce four million sticks of cigarettes a day.
Customs and police operatives discovered the cigarette-making machines in two warehouses located at the Global Aseana Business Park and San Simon Industrial Park, San Simon, Pampanga.
Customs Enforcement and Security Service director Felimon Yogi Ruiz, armed with Letters of Authority, said they found eight imported cigarette-making machines which can produce 400 master cases of cigarettes or 4,000,000 sticks per day.
“The value of the machines is estimated to be worth P200 million as certified by the legitimate cigarette makers,” Ruiz said.
“The operation stemmed from the information gathered by the ESS that there are warehouses within the area that produce fake branded cigarettes using imported raw materials,” Ruiz said.
“Before the operation, customs agents conducted surveillance operation following a tip that there were factories producing cigarettes in Pampanga,” he said.
The Customs padlocked the warehouses while waiting for the Warrant of Seizure and Detention to be issued by the district collector of the Port of Clark.
Several people are now under investigation, including the owners of the warehouses, he added.