By Chino S. Leyco
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has seized counterfeit tax stamps and several units of China-machines used for printing them and packaging bogus cigarette brands during a recent joint operation with police and local government officials in a factory in Villasis, Pangasinan.
BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa said the operation conducted last September yielded fake internal revenue stamps worth P6.6 million, while the estimated worth of the 20 units of machines seized was placed at P200 million.
The BIR apprehended and seized several printing, gilding, cutting, stamping and module machines at a factory located at Barangay Bacag in Villasis, Pangasinan.
“The unregistered equipment were being used to illegally produce and print fake cigarette packing and packaging, and bogus cigarette tax stamps,” Guballa said in his report to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said.
Guballa said other confiscated materials such as inks, rollers, cardboards, straps and chemicals used in the illicit activity were accounted for and witnessed by representatives from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the local government of Villasis.
Criminal complaints were filed against three Chinese nationals before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Villasis for violating Sections 254, 258 and 265 of the National Internal Tax Code, which pertains to tax evasion and the manufacture and use of fake tax stamps.
To help stop the entry of unauthorized cigarette-making machines, which mostly originate from China, the Bureau of Customs and the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) signed in August an intergovernmental accord defining the scope and guidelines that aim to strengthen the cooperation and mutual assistance on Customs matters between the two countries.