ZAMBALES policemen this week seized an estimated P1.2 million worth of counterfeit cigarettes being transported by four persons in Botolan municipality, local police director Colonel Romano V. Cardiño said.
In a report to Police Regional Office 3 director Brigadier General Valeriano T. de Leon, the official said that arrested during the operation were Marlon Garcia, resident of Mountain View, Balibago, Angeles City in Pampanga; Felipe Valdez, of Bgy. Baliti in San Fernando City, Pampanga; and Joryson and Melody Tawatao, both residents of Bgy. San Lorenzo in Masinloc, Zambales.
According to Cardiño, members of the Zambales PPO Special Task Group and the Botolan Municipal Police Station led by Lieutenant Niño Ryan Opinga and Major Rolando Ballon conducted the operation in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Recovered from the suspects during the operation in Bgy. Santiago in Botolan, Zambales were one Mitsubishi FB van with plate No. PON-611 found containing 11 boxes each containing 50 reams of Moon Light cigarette, six boxes each containing 50 reams of Two Moon menthol cigarettes, one box containing 50 reams of Mighty Menthol cigarettes; and one box containing 50 reams of Fortune Blue cigarettes as well as a gray Mitsubishi Hi-Ace van with plate No. CAU 9100 found containing eight boxes each with 50 reams of Fortune Blue cigar five reams of Fortune Blue cigarettes; and three boxes each containing Moon Lights cigarettes.
Cardiño said the recovered pieces of evidence were valued at P1.195 million.
He said that prior to the operation, they received an information from the DTI that fake cigarette products were about to be transported to the province for distribution to local stores.
Cardiño said the arrested suspects are now being held at the Botolan police jail facing charges for violation of Republic Act 8293, or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.