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CIDG steps up crackdown vs smuggling, bogus products

December 17, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 222 views

PHILIPPINE National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) Director, Brigadier General Ronald O. Lee on Saturday said he had ordered a stepped-up drive versus all forms of smuggling and sale and distribution of counterfeit goods in the country, which are all forms of economic sabotage.

“We’re going all-out against economic saboteurs in the country amid a directive from PNP chief, General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr.,” said the top CIDG official.

On Wednesday, CIDG agents arrested a suspect during an entrapment operation that led to the seizure of an estimated P228,000 worth of smuggled cigarettes in Barangay Maloloy-on in Molave, Zamboanga del Sur.

Recovered during the sting were 283 reams of smuggled Astro, Fort, New Berlin, Soda, YS, and Union cigarettes and the buy-bust money.

The 2nd suspect, a 45-year-old foreigner, was arrested in a sting conducted on the same day by CIDG Cavite Field Unit personnel at the parking lot of SM Bacoor in Bgy. Habay 2 in Bacoor City in Cavite.

The accused yielded 100 reams of Marlboro Red and 50 reams of Marlboro Gold cigarettes worth P240,000 and the marked money he received from a poseur. The suspect’s Ford Ranger pick-up, which he used to deliver the contraband, was impounded by the local CIDG.

Lee said that a tip triggered the Cavite operation from concerned citizens regarding the presence of one “Nsypyro” or “Nenita Kileste” who was selling suspected fake cigarettes.

One informant said that he suffered a painful throat and chest tightness after consuming a cigarette pack being sold by the accused. Representatives from the Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corporation (PMFTC) said that a check of the products being sold by the accused showed they were all counterfeit PMFTC cigarettes.

The two suspects are now facing charges for violation of Republic Act (RA) 8424, or the Tax Reform Act of 1997, and RA 8293, or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.

Lee said that two other entrapment operations launched by members of the CIDG Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Unit last Wednesday led to arresting two persons found selling counterfeit products in Bulacan and Manila.

One of the suspects, a cashier at an electric bike (e-bike) accessories shop in Baliuag, Bulacan was arrested while in the act of selling fake Koso Motorcycle Voltmeters to an undercover officer.

Recovered during the Baliuag sting were 127 Koso voltmeters valued at P82,550.

On the other hand, a 26-year-old suspect was arrested while selling counterfeit HGHMNDS t-shirts to a poseur in Bgy. 892 in Sta. Ana, Manila.

The suspect yielded 432 pieces of counterfeit t-shirts worth P49,600.

Lee said that lawyers representing Koso Voltmeters and HGHMNDS t-shirts complained about the presence of their fake products being sold in the local market by some enterprising people.

The two suspects will be facing charges for violation of RA 8293.