Warehouse with ‘COVID cure’, smuggled items raided

Published February 21, 2021, 11:10 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

Bureau of Customs agents raided over the weekend a Paranaque City warehouse containing the popular Lianhua Qingwen–an alleged cure for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)–among a collection of contraband.

(Photo via BOC)

A total of P9 million worth of smuggled Chinese goods such as cigarettes, medicines, food items, and other illegally imported products were seized from the location. 

“We will need to do inventory, but most of the goods are Lianhua Qingwen which is used as medicine for COVID-19,” said Alvin Enciso, chief of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) at the Manila International Container Port.

Enciso’s team swooped down at a warehouse/ storage facility located at Sunrise Street in Tambo, Parañaque on Friday, Feb. 19.

BOC-CIIS carried out the raid with members of the National Bureau of Investigation Special Action Unit (NBI-SAU). They served the Letter of Authority (LOA), which was signed by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero. 

“The LOA was served and explained to the representatives of the warehouse,” Enciso said, adding that they already completed the hauling of the “prohibited goods” from the warehouse. 

“We always make sure to follow the rules in every operation. They (representatives) have a right to know the basis on which these goods are being seized,” Guerrero said.

The goods have since been secured and transferred to the Customs bureau premises, where an inventory will take place on Monday, Feb. 22. 

Customs Deputy Commissioner Raniel Ramiro hailed the operation, noting that it strengthens the bureau’s campaign against illegal smuggling and the proliferation of prohibited items in the country.