The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Manila (POM) has seized smuggled counterfeit Fortune and Marlboro brand cigarettes worth an estimated P36 million.
The 40-footer container, which arrived on August 25 and was declared to contain cable connectors, was seized by POM in coordination with the agency’s Intelligence Group (IG).The IG provided the derogatory information that led to the issuance of a pre-lodgement control order on August 27 against the shipment consigned to Trendlink Home Source, Inc. and which resulted in the cargo’s apprehension on August 28.
A physical examination of the container yielded approximately 800 master cases of fake Fortune and Marlboro cigarettes.
Initial testing conducted by the representative of tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. indicated that the samples obtained from the seized items were not produced locally or given permission by Philip Morris International, making them counterfeit.
BOC POM district collector Michael Angelo Vargas ordered a warrant of seizure and detention to be issued against the shipment for violation of Section 1400 (Misdeclaration, Misclassification, and Undervaluation in Goods Declaration) in relation to Section 1113 (Property Subject to Seizure and Forfeiture) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.