Bureau of Customs-10 destroys P75M cigarettes

By : Jigger Jerusalem Mindanao Today/12:50:05pm 07/16/2021


The Bureau of Customs-10 has destroyed wrongfully declared imported cigarettes from China estimated to be worth P75 million at a facility in Barangay Mantibugao, Manolo Fortich town, Bukidnon on Tuesday, June 15. (Photo courtesy of Bureau of Customs-10) (Note: This news article was published in the print edition of Mindanao Today on June 16, 2021)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Makers of illegally imported cigarettes are resorting to another tactic by making it look like the products they are shipping to the country is locally manufactured by printing cigarette boxes with “made in the Philippines,” an officer of the Bureau of Customs-10 (BOC-10) said.

This was the revelation of Oliver Valiente, chief of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service in Northern Mindanao, who have noticed that most boxes of the imported cigarettes they have intercepted at the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental have the appearance of being locally made.

“They want to make it appear that these cigarettes are local,” Valiente said, referring to the P75 million worth of cigarettes from China that BOC-10 has destroyed at a facility in Barangay Mantibugao, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, on Tuesday, June 15.

He said the shipment arrived at the MCT January this year and was declared by the consignee Sixty Nine Enterprises as kitchenware.

“Upon examination the shipment revealed 135,700 reams of assorted cigarettes,” he said.

Valiente said the cigarettes were destroyed through crushing with the use of road roller and backhoe.

He said the information that a contraband arrived at a local port was relayed to Customs deputy commissioner Teddy Raval who instructed the BOC-10 office of the illegal items.

Most of the sources of information, he said, come from local industries and local counterparts in the Customs organization.

Valiente said, “we adhere to the standing order of [Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero] to remain vigilant in our ports to maintain the influx of smuggled goods. We are maintaining it, day in, day out.”

He added the BOC-10 has so far intercepted three batches of wrongfully declared imported cigarettes, as he assured that legal action has already been filed against the consignees of the shipment and the brokers who facilitated for the goods’ release.

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