The Bureau of Customs (BOC) ordered on Tuesday the preventive suspension of the customs accreditation of cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corporation (MC) for alleged violation of customs regulations.

Legal Service Director and Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) Executive Director Alvin Ebreo said, that a preventive suspension order had been issued previously against the company by then Commissioner John Sevilla in 2014 for infraction of customs bonded warehouse privileges.

The Fiscal Intelligence Unit of the Department of Finance also reported that there was an undervaluation of the importation of cigarette-manufacturing materials amounting to P163,117,995.

In order to withdraw raw materials for local consumption, its correct value must be determined first for the payment of correct duties and taxes.

Apart from MC’s previous violations, the BOC cited recent raids of warehouses in Zamboanga City, General Santos City, and San Simon town in Pampanga province, that yielded more than P2 billion worth of counterfeit cigarettes, as among the bases of the suspension.

BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon said the order is also in the light of the Bureau’s mandate to prevent smuggling and other cases of customs fraud detrimental to the government interest.

Consequently, the initiative will provide the government an unhampered venue for investigation, and free it from any collateral issues and concern, according to Ebreo. He added that the suspension is a purely administrative matter and within the BOC’s power and jurisdiction.