Government agents seized P15 million worth of smuggled cigarettes and mobile phone accessories during a raid of a storage facility in Paco, Manila.
Armed with a letter of authority from Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, operatives of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service conducted the raid on Feb. 4 with the help of Coast Guard personnel.
Guerrero said the Chinese cigarettes lacked the necessary permit from the National Tobacco Administration, a clear violation of Executive Order 245.
Aside from reams of cigarettes and mobile phone accessories, the authorities also found at the warehouse Chinese medicines assorted food items and liquors.
The latest apprehension was the second operation conducted in Manila by the CIIS men assigned at the North Harbor.
Last month, the team also raided a warehouse in Tondo, where it discovered P100 million worth of counterfeit products bearing the name Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel.
The CIIS men also recently raided three storage facilities in southern Metro Manila and confiscated smuggled Chinese products and health items believed to be used to treat patients infected with the coronavirus disease.
“The Bureau of Customs remains steadfast in preventing the proliferation of counterfeit and unauthorized goods in the country as well as safeguarding public welfare,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero said further inventory at the warehouse and investigation will be made for the filing of criminal charges against the owner who also violated the National Internal Revenue Code of the Philippines and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
Authorities advised importers to secure product registration and license to import and operate before bringing the articles into the country.