BIR raids houses in Caraga used as warehouses for untaxed cigarettes

 The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) recently raided residences in Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur used as warehouses for untaxed cigarettes, and seized more than 347,000 packs of the contraband with tax liability of about P219 million.

       BIR Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui Jr. appealed to residents nationwide to report to the bureau "houses in their neighborhood used as hiding storage facilities for illicit cigarette and vape products."

            "Illicit trade destroys legitimate businesses. It destroys the livelihoods of millions of Filipinos and undermines fair competition. We urge all consumers to stop buying illicit cigarettes and vape," Lumagui stated.

            He said owners of these untaxed commodities will be charged in court for various violation of the provisions of the Tax Code, including failure to register the business, failure to file returns and unlawful pursuit of business

              Various law enforcement agencies, including members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), assisted revenue operatives in conducting the simultaneous raids in the two provinces

                      The bureau has been consistent in its campaign against this tax menace, in line with the instructions of President Marcos. This crusade has resulted in the filing of multi-billion-peso tax evasion cases, resulting in the conviction of some illegal traders while court proceedings for others still ongoing.