Home » Customs & Trade, Press Releases » BOC raids yield P1B fake cigarettes, P50M medical supplies

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized P1 billion worth of counterfeit cigarettes and tax stamps as well as P50 million worth of medical supplies and equipment in separate raids.

In a raid on May 30, BOC’s Quick Reaction Team in coordination with Philippine National Police Isabela seized counterfeit cigarettes and tax stamps in a warehouse in Victoria Alicia, Isabela.

The operation also uncovered counterfeiting of foreign tax stamps, indicating the cigarettes are being exported. An inventory of the seized goods is currently being conducted with the warehouse placed under strict guarding.

BOC also seized medical supplies and equipment in warehouses located at Wilson Street in Greenhills, San Juan and in Malabon City owned by Omnibus Biomedical System, Inc. in a raid on May 28, 2020.

Omnibus Biomedical was recently tagged in a Senate inquiry for selling overpriced automatic extraction machines to the government and identified to be under investigation for alleged smuggling.

BOC said the company is hoarding and selling overpriced medical supplies and equipment such as high-pressure stream sterilizer, blood bags, books, real-time quantitative thermal cycler, and other medical supplies and equipment.

A case will be filed against the company for failure to show proof of payment of duties and taxes.

The raid was executed by BOC’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, with assistance of the Philippine Coast Guard and National Bureau of Investigation, who served the Letter of Authority and Mission Order signed by Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero to the Chinese nationals present in the warehouse.

BOC also recently seized P5 million worth of personal protective equipment and medical supplies from a store in Binondo, Manila, and alleged medicines for coronavirus disease in Singalong, Malate. Under Republic Act 7581 or The Price Act and RA 11469 or The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, profiteering or earning large and unfair profits, especially in this time of emergency is punishable by law.

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