March 7, 2017 – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) will file charges against those involved in the illegal importation of P2.3 billion worth of counterfeit products and cigarettes seized by customs operatives in separate raids.
BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon said on Tuesday that the filing of charges was in line with the order of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez to the BOC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue to file cases against those responsible for the crime.
The BOC Intelligence Group is gathering evidence for submission to the bureau’s Legal Service to build a strong case against the importers.
On March 1, 2017, some 11,000 master cases of assorted counterfeit cigarettes worth P215 million were seized in General Santos City.
The raid was conducted through the joint efforts of BOC’s Special Studies and Project Development Committee (SSPDC), BIR and other law enforcement agencies.
On the same day, another 62,000 cases of fake cigarettes valued at P1.957 billion were seized in a raid conducted in Pampanga.
Last month, the BOC confiscated around 400 master cases of counterfeit cigarettes with an estimated value of P13.5 million in Zamboanga.
“We are confident that while BOC is still conducting further investigation, there is already a strong tax evasion case that the BIR can pursue, as this is outside our jurisdiction,” Faeldon said.
Faeldon assured the public that the bureau will further tighten its enforcement initiatives to prevent the proliferation of counterfeit goods and other smuggled products in the market.#