Smokes with fake BIR stamps seized
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.