Separate attempts to smuggle illegal shipment of cigarettes into the country were recently foiled by the Bureau of Customs.
Instead of frozen goods and toys, cigarettes worth P121 million were found in shipments from China and Hong Kong at the Port of Subic on August 22.
According to District Collector Maritess Martin, the importers intentionally declared the shipments as frozen goods because “it is a general knowledge that cigarettes cannot be stored in high moisture containers like reefer vans.”
“Yet the smugglers found their means on how to use this kind of transportation,” she added, stressing this is the first time the Customs bureau has seized cigarettes concealed in a refrigerated container van.
A total of 1,631 master boxes of Mighty and Marvel cigarettes worth P64.4 million were also intercepted at the Port of Batangas on August 27.
The shipment arrived from Guangdong, China on August 20 but was discovered on August 24 based on a derogatory information received by the port.
It was declared to contain plastic cabinets but found to conceal cigarettes, Acting District Collector Rhea Gregorio said.
Another container filled with fake cigarettes valued at P36 million were also uncovered at the Port of Manila on August 28.
The shipment arrived at the port on August 25 and was declared as cable connectors.
Around 800 master cases of fake Fortune and Marlboro branded cigarettes were found instead, District Collector Michael Angelo Vargas said.
“Based on the initial testing conducted by the representative of Philip Morris Philippines, the samples obtained from the seized items were not produced locally by or with permission of Philip Morris International, and are therefore counterfeit,” Vargas noted.
Warrants of seizure and detention against the shipments have been issued for violation of Section 1400 “Misdeclaration, Misclassification, and Undervaluation in Goods Declaration” in relation to Section 1113 “Property Subject Seizure and Forfeiture” of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.