February 1, 2017 – High-end communication and electronic gadgets worth millions of pesos, all believed to be smuggled into the country, were seized by agents of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in a building in Lakandula Street, Tondo, Manila yesterday.
BOC acted on intelligence reports that an online shop identified as Kim Store sells imported high-end communication gadgets under suspicious importation schemes and processes. Among the items seized were units of Iphone 7 cellular phones, Macbook laptops, Samsung Galaxy S7 series phones, Nexus 6Ps phones, Zenfone 3 Ultra phones, Sony Xperia phones, Canon cameras, tablets and music players, audio accessories, and gadgets for safety and security.
“There are plenty of cases wherein high-end communication and electronic gadgets are smuggled into the country through misdeclaration schemes, a top form of smuggling, used by smugglers to defraud and avoid paying correct duties and taxes to the government,” Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Director Neil L. Estrella said.
Intelligence Officer Joel Pinawin, team leader of the CIIS operating unit, told Customs Commissioner Nicanor E. Faeldon in an initial report that Kim Store is owned by a certain ‘Francis’, a Filipino-Chinese businessman in Binondo, who is engaged in selling smuggled items online. He added that the staff of Kim Store’s depot failed to present documents for their imported items.
“We are still validating some intelligence reports, and we will fully identify the real owners of Kim Store in the next few days,” Pinawin said in the initial report.
The seized items are now padlocked inside the storehouse of Kim Store in Tondo and tightly guarded by CIIS agents.
“BOC, under my watch, will often conduct raids in warehouses, storehouses, and depots, to combat the malpractice and related crimes, and finally jail perpetrators, once and for all,” Commissioner Faeldon said. #