Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) employees seized approximately 26 million pesos of smuggled and counterfeit cigarettes in a series of raids in Central Luzon, which also resulted in the arrest of 11 shopkeepers and vendors.
CIDG Director Maj. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro said the operation also resulted in the Bureau of Internal Avenue ceasing a business in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone over questionable documents for the sale of Chinese-made cigarettes.
He identified those arrested as Eduardo Manuel, 26; Noraine Edrada, 25; Elgie Aucina, 23; Alfred Maligmat, 18; Pamela Cezar, 43; Mark Millan, 28; Edwina Mateo, 22; Pacita Manuel, 58; Benedict Serrano, 44; Richard Dimla 32; and Florediliza del Prado.
They were captured in a series of raids in Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan and Zambales from August 23-27.
132 cartons, 5,499 giant cigarettes and 153 packs of counterfeit and smuggled sorted cigarettes were seized.
âThese police actions were based on information received by the CIDG about the rampant sales of allegedly counterfeit cigarettes in the named areas. There have been test purchases and items. With the confirmation that the said goods were indeed counterfeit, police operations followed, âsaid Ferro.
One of the operations carried out, according to Ferro, was against a company in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales.
During the inspection carried out, it was found that the company is operating pending approval / license application, while six Chinese nationals as Dai, Mingxi; Chen, Hongsheng Guo, Donghuai; Rao, Ming; Hu, Yong; and Yang, Wei who work there were able to show their valid work permits and ID cards.
CIDG agents discovered the following during the raid: 21,000 packs of SHUANGXI cigarettes; 950 packs of Bruston Red cigarettes; 3, 450 packs of Huanghelou cigarette; 51,000 packs of Furongwang cigarettes; and cigarette making machines.
The BIR has given the company 15 days to acquire and obtain the necessary permits and permits to operate legally.
MANUEL and 10 others have seperated lawsuits for violation of Republic Act 8293 (Intellectual Property Act of the Philippines), while the successful closure of Hongcim International Corp. was due to a violation of Section 72 of the BIR Tax Code.
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