Cigarettes Photo shows the arrested suspects, the seized cigarettes and the Mitsubishi Xpander van in front of the Talavera, Nueva Ecija police station. Photo by STEVE A. GOSUICO

2 men on board mini van held for selling P50K worth of fake cigarettes

February 12, 2023 Steve A. Gosuico 372 views

TALAVERA, Nueva Ecija — Two men on board a minivan who came all the way from Cavite were apprehended during an operation conducted by the local police against the illegal selling of fake cigarettes in this town on Saturday, it was reported.

Arrested were a 42-year-old driver, resident of Block 3, Lot 14, Sanapen, Bgy. Cupang, Antipolo City and a Grab driver, 40, of HillView Royale Subdivision Phase 3, Timalan, Naic, Cavite.

Town police head Lt. Col. Ranny G. Casilla said the suspects were nabbed by his men in Bgy. Sampaloc at 2:15 p.m.

The suspects were aboard a silver gray Mitsubishi Xpander multi-purpose vehicle (NER-3254) when caught allegedly engaged in the illegal sale of fake cigarettes in the area.

Confiscated from the suspects were five carton boxes containing 250 reams of Astro cigarettes with an estimated market value of P50,000.

“Galing sila (2 suspects) ng Cavite at may kausap silang binabagsakan dito sa Nueva Ecija,” Casilla told the Journal Group in a text message.

The latest successful operation came a day after a 33-year-old vendor was nabbed in nearby Bgy. San Pascual here for allegedly selling 650 reams of alleged fake Astro cigarettes worth P120,000 on Friday.

Also last Friday in Zaragosa, police head Major Ronnie G. Caagbay reported that they nabbed a 38-year-old Chinese national from Quanzhou City, Fujian province, China and a 32-year-old driver, from Nagcarlan, Laguna after they were caught transporting in a white Toyota Grandia van some 20 boxes of alleged fake H&P cigarettes worth P240,000 allegedly without proper documentation.

The intensified operations against the proliferation, illegal sale and manufacture of fake cigarettes in Nueva Ecija started in October last year after Gov. Aurelio M. Umali and the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Nueva Ecija chapter led by San Antonio mayor Arvin C. Salonga joined hands with the provincial police office under Col. Richard V. Caballero in declaring an “all-out war” against the illicit cigarette business.