The Bureau of Customs uncovered thousands of boxes of fake goods estimated to be worth P300 million in several warehouses in Baclaran, Pasay City.
Agents from the Bureau’s Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) raided the warehouses located inside Sunjoy Tower, Bagong Milenyo, and New Russel buildings in Baclaran.
“The operation was conducted after the BOC-ESS received a tip that fake items are stored in the buildings and this was also confirmed by brand representative Lee Bumgarner Inc. (LBI), brand owner of shoe and apparel brand “Vans”, said Commissioner Isidro Lapeña.
The Customs operatives, armed with five (5) letters of authority dated June 19, immediately conducted series of operations on the subject warehouses on June 20 to verify the report received.
Inside the warehouses, Customs agents found large volume of shoes, bags, backpacks, all believed to be counterfeit.
The brand representative from LBI, however, confirmed, after thorough examination on the intercepted shoes, that the items found in buildings Sunjoy Tower, Bagong Milenyo and New Russel are indeed counterfeit products of their original brand, Vans.
According to the brand owner representative, the intercepted shoes stored in the warehouses have an estimated market value of approximately P200 million while the bags are said to be worth P100 million.
Initial investigation shows that the subject warehouses are owned or leased to certain Cai Lu Zhi, Yang Yang, Yong Shun Chen, and Angkong.
No arrest was made as the alleged owners of the warehouses were not in the premises during the raid. Only the warehouse security personnel was present during the raid.
Counterfeit goods are classified as prohibited under the Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.
The Bureau of Customs has given the warehouse owners 15 days from the date of inspection which was on June 20 to provide the needed documents to prove the legitimacy of their goods. Otherwise, the goods will be seized and destroyed immediately.
The warehouse owners will be charged with violations of Section 118 (Prohibited Importation and Exportation) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) in relation to Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code. ###