Government agents seized P65-million worth of smuggled electronic items and counterfeit personal health care products and devices during a raid at a warehouse in Binondo, Manila.
Among the confiscated items were medical supplies, including Aidelai brand of face mask which is not allowed by the government for distribution in the country.
Also found inside the raided warehouse were smuggled BL Creams; lotions; speakers; fake 3M and KN95 face masks; respirators; counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Nike, and Gucci products; and extension cords, among others.
Alvin Enciso, chief of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service at the Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP), said they are particularly worried about the smuggling of fake face masks and respirators.
“The public might fall victim to these smuggled goods. They might think they are protected by their face masks considering the brand of the fake ones are the same face masks that our health workers are using,” he said.
Enciso led the CIIS team in coordination with the Coast Guard and National Bureau of Investigation after receiving the Letter of Authority (LOA) and Mission Order signed by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
Inventory of the imported items is currently ongoing, but Enciso said the importer will be held liable for violating Section 1400 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
“Bringing fake medical supplies into the country is particularly worrying. Using these items, which have not received an FDA approval, will put lives in peril. The bureau is responsible for stopping these activities, especially at a time like this,” Enciso said.