The Manila Police District (MPD) seized over P250,000 worth of imported fake cigarettes and arrested three persons in San Andres Bukid, Manila on Monday, Dec. 5.
Police identified the suspects as Jerome Pagobo Piape, 31, a construction worker; Elma Facunda Luanco, 45; and Cesar Piastro Jr. Collantes, 36, all residents of San Andres Bukid, Manila.
The suspects were nabbed at the corner of Rubi St. and Estrada Streets in Brgy. 768 Zone 83, San Andres Bukid at around 4 p.m. on Monday.
Members of the MPD said the operation stemmed from a complaint of a 41-year-old man from San Fernando, La Union.
Initial investigation said the victim had an online transaction with the suspects for the purchase of three boxes of cigarettes worth P93,500.
When the victim met them to pay and pick up the cigarettes, the suspects immediately left after receiving the payment.
Upon checking the boxes, the victim found out that the boxes only contained almost half of the purchased items.
A follow-up operation was immediately conducted which resulted in the recovery of P150,000 worth of cigarettes and the arrest of the suspects.
The police said it is possible that the suspects are selling counterfeit products.
The suspects are facing estafa charges.