Government agents have seized P9 million worth of smuggled fake cigarettes in a raid at a warehouse in Valenzuela City.
The operatives confiscated the contraband, believed to have come from China, in a warehouse on Marcelo Street in Barangay Maysan. The shipment included boxes of Marlboro reds, Mighty, Modern Cigarettes, Carnival, and Red Golden Dragon (RGD) Classic.
A composite team from the Manila International Container Port – Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (MICP-CIIS) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted the raid based on mission order issued by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
The packages contained identical Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) stamps and serial numbers.
CIIS director Jeoffrey Tacio said his men assigned at the Manila North Harbor acted immediately following intelligence reports about the alleged smuggling.
“It is not even enough that we seized a whole warehouse, where these cigarettes without permits and legitimate stamps were found. We need to find the root of these operations,” Tacio said.
The raiding team also seized a vehicle stashed with the smuggled goods at the storage area.
The rear seats of the care were even removed to provide more space for the fake cigarette boxes.
The confiscated goods were taken to the Customs compound pending forfeiture proceedings in accordance with pertinent laws notably the Tariff Act.
Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Raniel Ramiro commended operatives for their successful operation that prevented the distribution of fake cigarette products in the local market.
“Our people trust us to do our jobs well, and that means ensuring that only safe and legal products enter our markets. It is upon the Bureau to protect the borders from these criminals, to free the local markets from illegal practices that put our efforts into question,” he said.