Bataan warehouses yield P131-M cigarette machines, fake cigarettes

Published March 3, 2021, 12:25 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Cigarette-making machines and counterfeit cigarettes worth P131 million were confiscated Monday, March 1 by Bureau of Customs (BOC) agents during raids at two storage facilities in barangay Balagtas, Orion, Bataan.

(Photo via Bureau of Customs)

A statement from the agency Wednesday, March 3 said that the operations were carried by the Enforcement Group’s Enforcement and Security Service Quick Reaction Team (EG-ESS QRT).

Carrying letters of authority (LOA) signed by Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, members of BOC-ESS in coordination with the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) inspected two storage storage facilities at the location. What they found were millions worth of illegal items.

The first storage facility held cigarette-making machines and other paraphernalia such as rolling paper, foil, and plastic packaging estimated to be worth P84 million. Meanwhile, the second operation yielded the discovery of 1,262 master cases of fake cigarettes of various brands such as More, Two Moon, Seven Star, Winston, Fort, Mighty, and Marvels.

The value of these were pegged at P47 Million. The seized items were transported to the BOC facility in Manila for inventory. An investigation is now underway for the possible filing of violation of Republic Act (RA) 10863, also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

“As the economy begins to fully recover from COVID-19 (coronavirus disease), The Bureau of Customs under the guidance of Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero remains committed to combat the proliferation of fake and smuggled items and protect the interest of legitimate businesses nationwide,” the statement read.