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BOC counterfeit cigarettes

Cigarette-making machines and other equipment believed to be used in making counterfeit cigarettes inside a warehouse raided by BOC on January 18.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has raided a warehouse in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija suspected of being a base for the clandestine manufacture of counterfeit cigarettes.

The raid, conducted on January 18 by BOC’s Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) in coordination with Cabiao Municipal Police Station, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Region 3, Philippine National Police Regional Intelligence Division-SCU 3, Regional Mobile Police Battalion 3, and local barangay officials, resulted in the seizure of counterfeit cigarettes of various brands determined to have an estimated value of P1 billion.

Brands counterfeited included Two Moon Blue, Two Moon Menthol, and Marvels.

Also seized were three boxes of fake Bureau of Internal Revenue stamps, five lines of cigarette-making machines with three machines per line, six lines of packing machines, one filter making machines, one mixer, one dryer, and raw materials believed to be used in making counterfeit cigarettes, BOC said in a statement.

Authorities were also able to arrest 20 Chinese nationals suspected to be engaged in manufacturing counterfeit cigarettes and 100 Filipinos believed to be behind the illegal operations.

ESS is conducting an inventory of the seized products and will undertake an investigation to determine the appropriate cases to be filed in relation to the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

BOC in August 2018 also raided a warehouse in Gapan, Nueva Ecija and caught 17 Chinese nationals allegedly involved in making fake cigarettes and fake stamps worth millions of pesos.

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