Smokes with fake BIR stamps seized

The Freeman - - NATION19 - — Primo A. Cayu­bit, cor­re­spon­dent

TACLOBAN CITY – Joint op­er­a­tions of the Bu­reau of In­ter­nal Rev­enueRe­gion 8 of­fice, based in Palo, Leyte, and the Na­tional Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion-8 based in Tacloban City have con­fis­cated cig­a­rettes with fake BIR stamps in Or­moc city, a re­port from the NBI-8 re­ported on Wed­nes­day.

NBI spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tor Jess Gadain­gan said the joint op­er­a­tion con­ducted by NBI-8 and BIR-8 raided a ware­house and an apart­ment in Or­moc City where the cig­a­rettes bear­ing fake BIR cig­a­rettes stamps, worth a to­tal of more than P60 mil­lion, were found.

Gadain­gan said that the two gov­ern­ment agen­cies have iden­ti­fied the source of the il­le­gal cig­a­rette prod­ucts (cig­a­rettes with fake tax stamps) pro­lif­er­at­ing in Or­moc, prompt­ing the con­duct of the raid against the il­licit trader.

While it was not yet known if th­ese cig­a­rettes were pro­duced do­mes­ti­cally or abroad, Gadain­gan said the NBI-8 and BIR-8 dis­cov­ered that BOS Mar­ket­ing, lo­cated in Or­moc City, is one of the sources of il­licit cig­a­rettes be­ing sold in that city.

BOS main­tained two stor­age fa­cil­i­ties lo­cated in barangays Co­gon and District 4 of Or­moc City, where the two agen­cies seized 2,026 mas­ter cases (boxes) or 20,260,000 sticks. There are 500 packs of cig­a­rettes per mas­ter case, and if each pack car­ries an ex­cise tax of P35 or P17,500 per mas­ter case, then the gov­ern­ment loses a to­tal of P35.5 mil­lion in taxes from the seized 2,026 cases.

Au­thor­i­ties said the Or­moc raid was a fol­low-up to the raid con­ducted last Oc­to­ber 4 in Tacloban City by the same agen­cies where they seized around 1,215 mas­ter cases or 12,150,000 sticks of il­licit cig­a­rettes, worth about P47 mil­lion with a sup­posed to­tal tax rev­enue of P17.5 mil­lion in ex­cise taxes.

BIR-8 As­sis­tant Re­gional Di­rec­tor Edgar Que­jada said that the in­ten­si­fied cam­paign of the BIR-8 with the NBI-8 has led to the con­fis­ca­tion of il­le­gal cig­a­rettes, worth a to­tal value of P107 mil­lion in less than two months. The to­tal taxes that could have been de­rived from the cig­a­rettes could reach P53 mil­lion, he said.

The joint teams are now also mon­i­tor­ing at least seven stores in Tacloban af­ter th­ese were si­mul­ta­ne­ously raided ear­lier this year.

On April 7 this year, the re­gional NBI and BIR of­fices, with the help of the Bu­reau of Cus­toms-8, had seized Mighty cig­a­rettes bear­ing fake BIR stamps, con­tained in 644 cases and worth P18 mil­lion, from a ware­house in Tacloban and from a 40-foot con­tainer van that was ap­pre­hended at the San Juanico Bridge that day.

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