1,400 boxes of fake cig­a­rettes seized in Ba­colod raid

Sun Star Bacolod - - Topstories - BY TERESA D. ELLERA AND MERLINDA A. PEDROSA

AU­THOR­I­TIES seized a to­tal of 1,400 boxes of fake cig­a­rettes in joint op­er­a­tions by op­er­a­tives of Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion and De­tec­tion Group (Cidg)-negros Occidental, Bureau of Internal Rev­enue (Bir)-west­ern Visayas, and Po­lice Sta­tion 2 in a ware­house at the Ba­colod Real Es­tate Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (Bredco) Port in Barangay 2, Ba­colod City Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

BIR Re­gional Di­rec­tor An­to­nio Jonathan Jaminola, said they ini­tially re­ceived a re­port claim­ing that the ware­house was man­u­fac­tur­ing and sell­ing fake cig­a­rettes prompt­ing their of­fice, with the as­sis­tance of the CIDG, to mon­i­tor the op­er­a­tions and after gath­er­ing enough evidence they pro­ceeded with the raid.

Jaminola pointed out all of the cig­a­rette pack­ages have the fake doc­u­men­tary stamp.

It has also been no­ticed that some of the cig­a­rettes have the same se­rial num­bers, which fur­ther proves sus­pi­cion that the items are fake.

Aside from the fake cig­a­rettes, au­thor­i­ties also seized hun­dreds of boxes containing other items such as fil­ter rods, sta­ple wires, ra­zor blades, and hand saws.

BIR of­fi­cials also re­cov­ered a Toy­ota Revo, wherein the plates was later con­firmed “clean” with the po­lice High­way Pa­trol Group’s data­base of stolen ve­hi­cles.

The seized items were also re­ported to have been un­de­clared by its owner, whom of­fi­cials have re­quested not to be iden­ti­fied.

Jaminola also said the fake cig­a­rettes would bring a to­tal of P14 mil­lion in ex­cise tax alone if they weren’t able to seize them.

He fur­ther added the man­u­fac­turer of the fake cig­a­rettes could be pe­nal­ized for P140 mil­lion and could also be charged with tax eva­sion.

Po­lice Lieu­tenant Colonel Ariel Pico, spokesper­son of Ba­colod City Po­lice Of­fice (BCPO) said the op­er­a­tives are still con­duct­ing a fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion and in­ven­tory of the re­cov­ered con­tra­band.

He said ap­pro­pri­ate charges will be filed against the man­u­fac­turer, whom he re­fused to be named.

He added the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice along with other gov­ern­ment agen­cies are in­ten­si­fy­ing its mon­i­tor­ing to pre­vent the en­try of con­tra­band in Ba­colod and Negros Occidental.*

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