Authorities seized P150 million worth of smuggled face masks and face shields, personal protective equipment, and assorted luxury items during a raid at a warehouse in Manila.
Alvin Enciso, chief of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP), led the seizure of the smuggled items at a storage facility in Binondo.
“In our initial inspection, we found boxes of cosmetic and beauty products, unregistered Aidelai face masks, Heng De face shields, clothing, toys, cell phone cases, and many others,” Enciso said.
The bureau will investigate the total amount of the goods for the possible filing of charges under Section 1400 of the Customs Modernization Act (CMTA).
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, who signed the letter of authority for the operation, underscored the importance of ensuring only authentic PPE items are being sold and distributed in the market.
This is not the first time the bureau apprehended a storage facility or warehouse with fake PPEs and COVID-19 medicines.
“This is alarming because people will think they’re protected from the virus by wearing face masks and face shields that turned out to be counterfeit items. These can put many lives in jeopardy since people trust these items to do as advertised,” said Enciso.