March 8, 2017 – Three containers loaded with cigarettes of the Mighty cigarette brand bearing what appeared to be fake tax stamps were seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) after arriving in Cebu and Tacloban cities.
The first two containers unloaded on Sunday from MV Don Alberto Sr. which docked at the Port ofCebu from Manila via Tacloban, Leyte province.
Another shipment was seized on Tuesday in Tacloban with Bureau of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon supervising the operation.
(Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon led the inspection of the contraband in Tacloban while CIIS Director Neil Estrella led the examination and seizure of 2 containers in Cebu)
Operatives led by Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Director Neil Estrella inspected two containers and opened one box at the yard of Gothong Lines at Pier No. 4 in the Port of Cebu.
Estrella said the CIIS conducted the raid following a tip about the arrival of the shipments.
Present during the BOC’sinitial examination were representatives from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)and the consignee, Rolando Pocong, Shipping Lines, the Philippine Coast Guard, as well as members of media.
Estrella said the boxes were believed to be part of several shipments of Mighty cigarettes bearing fake stamps.
Last week, the BOC and theBIR confiscated 11,044 master cases of Mighty cigarettes worth P215 million in General Santos City and 62,200 master cases valued at P1.98 billion in SanSimon, Pampanga.
“The bureau has been receiving reports that some of the products that were not seized in Pampanga were sent to different warehouses in the country,” Estrella added.
The identity of the consignee and the market value of the Cebu shipment have yet to be determined.
The seized cargo will be turned over to BIR-Cebu.#