March 24, 2017 – Two warehouses in Bulacan province were raided on Friday morning by Bureau of Customs agents following a tip that cigarettes with fake tax stamps with an estimated value of P3.2 billion were stored in the facilities.
Around 160,000 master cases of Mighty cigarettes were found in the two warehouses located at Km 64, Barangay Matimbubong in San Ildefonso town, according to Capt. Joenel Pogoy who conducted the raid in coordination with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), local police and barangay officials.
The first warehouse contained 145,000 master cases of cigarettes, with an estimated value of P2.9 billion.
Inside the second facility, the raiding team found 15,000 master cases worth aroundP300 million.
Using the BIR Stamp Verifier, the team confirmed that the cigarettes had been marked with fake tax stamps.
The Friday raid has even yielded a bigger volume of cigarettes worth billions than the raid previously conducted in San Simon, Pampanga province, authorities added.
Earlier, charges had been filed by the BIR against Mighty Corp., which manufactures the cigarette brand, for allegedly evading the payment of around P9.564 billion in excise taxes by using fake tax stamps.
Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon has said the bureau would intensify its campaign again smuggling and all other forms of illicit trade that continues to deprive the government of revenues.
“We will not stop in our efforts to weed out those engaged in pernicious activities that undermine and derail the government’s reform agenda,” said Faeldon.
“We are ready to use all available options in the investigation of erring companies, including those engaged in the oil and motor vehicle trade, to make sure we control all forms of revenue leaks that get in the way of hitting revenue targets of the BOC,” he added.
Faeldon also lauded the BOC raiding team led by Capt. Joenel Pogoy, the team leader; Ceferino Checa, assistant team leader; and members Cleo Dongga-as, Nathaniel Joquino and Domingo Costo.
The BOC team is now readying retrieval of cigarette samples for further examination and analysis. #