BOC confiscates P1.4-B worth of ‘smuggled’ cigarettes in Sulu
The Bureau of Customs (BOC), led by the Intelligence Group, recently confiscated counterfeit cigarettes in Sulu, aligned with the Bureau’s intensified efforts to foil contraband items in the country.
According to Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group (IG) Juvymax Uy, the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), headed by Director Verne Enciso, received derogatory information about the storage warehouse containing alleged smuggled cigarettes.
The BOC-IG immediately acted on the report and issued a Letter of Authority signed by Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio.
On March 2, the BOC operatives inspected the warehouse, where they found 18,533 master cases of assorted imported cigarettes valued at P1.4 billion, including Bravo, New Far, BPBM, Billionaire, Cannon, Souvenir, Astro, Wilcon, New D’ Premier, B&E Ice, and Fort.
The BOC was joined by troops from the Western Mindanao Command-Armed Forces of the Philippines (WESMINCOM-AFP), 11th Infantry Division, Philippine Army (11ID P.A.), Philippine Air Force-Special Operations Wing (PAF-SPOW), Joint Task Force (JTF)-Sulu, Philippine Navy-Naval Special Operations Unit (PN-NAVSOU), and PN Naval Forces Mindanao.
“Remember that this happened in Sulu, in Indanan. Yet, despite how far Mindanao is from us, we made sure that distance won’t stop us from serving the LOA,” Uy said.
“Simply put, we will stop at nothing, and we will be present in every corner of the Philippines to make sure there won’t be space for these illegal activities,” he added.
The District Collector of the Port of Zamboanga will issue a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) against the subject smuggled cigarettes for possible violations of Executive Order No. 245, also known as “Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exportation and Importation of Leaf Tobacco and Tobacco Products,” National Tobacco Administration (NTA) Memorandum Circular No. 03, series of 2004; NTA Board Resolution No. 079-2005 in relation to Sec. 1113 (f and Sec. 117 in connection to section 1401 of R.A. No. 10863 otherwise known as Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) of 2016.
“Our success in conducting our enforcement operations anywhere in the country is attributed to the streamlined procedures and coordination between all BOC offices, collection districts, and partner agencies,” says Commissioner Rubio.
“We will continue to modernize our information-sharing systems and enforcement assets to ensure that we are a step ahead against unscrupulous importers,” he added.#