Customs warehouse raid yields P800 million in fake goods

PHILSTAR

THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) said on Thursday that it seized counterfeit goods apparently intended for used-clothing markets, valued at P800 million from a warehouse in Valenzuela City.

The BoC said the raid occurred on Monday at a warehouse on Omega Street in Valenzuela City, and involved personnel from the BoC’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-Intellectual Property Rights Division (CIIS-IPRD), the Port of Manila, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

In the warehouse, the team found counterfeit goods bearing brands including Mickey Mouse, Tribal, Jag, Nike, Adidas, Jordan, Honda, Dior, and Louis Vuitton, among others.

The bureau said an investigation is now underway for possible violations of Republic Act 4653, which prohibits the import of used clothing and rags, and The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, or Republic Act 8293, which deals with the violations of copyright.

The BoC also noted the possibility of violations of the Consumer Act of the Philippines, or Republic Act 7394, and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, or Republic Act 10863.

Separately, the BoC said also on Thursday that it seized on April 6 a shipment containing P3.4 million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride, known by the street name “shabu.” The shipment, originating from South Korea, was labeled as containing “diaper bags.”

The operation was carried out by Customs port personnel, in coordination with the Customs Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force (CAIDTF), Enforcement Security Service, CIIS, X-ray Inspection Project, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

The team discovered five packs that contained crystal-like substances hidden inside a backpack and the linings of thermal bags, the BoC said. A later field test by CAIDTF and PDEA would confirm the chemical composition of the powdered substance, making the case a possible violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002.

The bureau has seized P3.89 billion in smuggled goods as of the end of March, with P1.52 billion worth of illegal drugs were seized over the same period.

The BoC collected P188.50 billion in the first quarter of 2022, exceeding its goal by 17.73%. The BoC’s target for 2022 is P671.66 billion. — Tobias Jared Tomas

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