The Bureau of Customs, through the Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), intercepted on Monday more or less 25,000 units of fake iPhones, smartphones, and tablets worth P75-million in a warehouse in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
“The operation stemmed from a tip we received last week from a brand owner representative that fake smartphones, iPhones, and tablets are stored in Warehouse 6, #641 Fernandez Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila,” said Commissioner Isidro Lapeña.
According to ESS, BOC has also received a derogatory report from a certain tipster about the subject warehouse and surveillance has been conducted since May prior to the raid.
On June 21, Customs agents immediately acted on the Letter of Authority number 06-21-028-2018 issued by the Commissioner to investigate and examine the said warehouse.
Local officials and representatives from the Philippine National Police and the Barangay 302 were also present during the inspection.
Found inside the warehouse are thousands of alleged fake iPhones, smartphones, and tablets without importation permit from the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC).
“Based on the initial report from the NTC, these smartphones and tablets of brands ZH&K, Chico Mobile, CKK, and Samsung bear fake NTC stickers,” said Lapeña.
Mr. Neil Crowther, the brand owner representative, also confirmed that the confiscated phones and tablets without NTC stickers are counterfeit versions of iPhone, Nokia, and Vivo.
The brand owner representatives of other confiscated phones are yet to issue certification that the phones are counterfeit versions of their products.
Initial investigation of the ESS shows that the warehouse is owned by certain Joseph Lee, Albert Chua, and Kevin Sy.
No one was arrested as the alleged owners were not in the premises during the raid, except the warehouse operations manager identified as Peter Lee.
“We have given the warehouse owners 15 days from the date of inspection to provide importation documents and other pertinent documents. We will proceed with the seizure and forfeiture proceedings of their goods,” Lapena said.
Charges will be filed against the warehouse owners for violation 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.
Lapeña commended all agents of the ESS, saying the su ccessful operation manifests the strong commitment and dedication of Customs police to mitigate smuggling.
Last week, June 22, the BOC also seized P300 million worth of fake bags and shoes stored inside the warehouses in Baclaran, Pasay City. ###