The government seized over P2 billion worth of cigarettes with fake BIR tax stamps in separate raids conducted in San Simon, Pampanga and General Santos City on March 1.
According to a report to Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, joint elements of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Customs and local police from Pampanga raided five warehouses in San Simon Industrial Park, San Simon, Pampanga that yielded over P1.957 billion worth of assorted cigarettes.
BIR representatives from Pampanga checked the tax stamps attached on the cigarette packs and confirmed that they were fake.
“District Collector Marites Martin of the Port of Clark will issue a Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the said items,” Faeldon said.
A separate raid was also conducted by the BIR in General Santos City together with representatives from OCOM-SSPDC and BOC Port of Dadiangas, by virtue of Mission Order and Letter of Authority 02-28-97-2017 to conduct anti-illicit trade operations against Sunshine Corn Mill Corp. warehouse located at Amadaza Street, Lagao, General Santos City.
The operation resulted to the seizure of 11,044 master cases of assorted cigarettes with fake tax stamps with an approximate street value of P215 million and tax evaded amounting to P165 million. Operating teams confirmed that the tax stamps and cigarettes were counterfeit after official scanning and tagging of said cigarette packs/master cases.
Meanwhile, the BOC also raided a warehouse in Zamboanga City last month which led to the seizure of 400 master cases of counterfeit smuggled cigarettes with an estimated street value of P13.5 million.
Recent operations against illicit tobacco trade were intensified following the proliferation of fake cigarette tax stamps which Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez described as “ a matter of serious concern”.#