Couple faces raps for manufacturing fake cigarettes

By Jeffrey Damicog

A married couple faces a criminal complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ) for operating a facility manufacturing fake cigarettes.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) filed the complaint against the couple identified as Mark Bryan Chan and Jeanette Chan.

Under the complaint dated Dec. 18, the couple was accused of unlawful possession of articles subject to excise tax without payment of the tax in violation of Section 263 of the National Revenue Code of 1997; and for possessing false and counterfeit stamps in violation of Section 265(c) also of the Tax Code.

The BIR filed the complaint after the couple’s warehouse in Lubao, Pampanga got shut down during a raid conducted by the Bureau and the provincial government last Nov. 17.

“The case stemmed from a phone call received by the BIR from an anonymous person denouncing Mr. Chan for allegedly manufacturing fake cigarettes in a factory-warehouse located at Purok 6, San Isidro, Lubao, Pampanga,” the BIR said.

“An ocular inspection of the said cigarette factory-warehouse revealed several cigarette-making machines, tobacco production raw materials, several boxes of BIR stamps and several cigarette packs,” it said.

The BIR also seized from the facility 8, 072,120 stamps and pointed out the couple owed the government over P2 billion of correct excise tax.

The BIR also discovered that the facility was registered under the couple’s two children who are both minors and that the only mayor’s permit granted to the couple were for to operate Titan Feeds Trading.