Customs Seizes P1-B Contraband in Malabon

Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio
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Operatives of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) have made yet another significant seizure in their ongoing efforts to combat smuggling. Over the weekend, CIIS seized a shipment of smuggled vape pens and other products worth a staggering 1.073 billion pesos. The operation targeted around 20 warehouses in Potrero, Malabon City, which were identified as storage facilities for the illicit vape products.

Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio emphasized the agency’s commitment to holding these smuggling groups accountable for their crimes. He stated, “Our operations against these smuggling groups will not stop until they are all held liable for their crimes. This recent enforcement of our laws sends a clear message that these activities will not go unchecked under our watch.”

CIIS Director Verne Enciso provided further details about the seizure. An initial inspection of the location revealed a total of 20 warehouses, with one warehouse being opened by the CIIS team. Inside, they discovered 8,400 boxes of Flava-branded vape pens, each containing 100 pieces and valued at 550 pesos per piece. The market value of the smuggled vape pens found in this warehouse alone was estimated at 462 million pesos. Additionally, considering the 520 peso excise tax that the government must collect for every vape pen, the total aggregate value of the vape products would be approximately 898.8 million pesos.

Enciso further explained that the CIIS team opened and inspected 15 other warehouses, which contained various items such as branded and unbranded shoes, hardware supplies, used clothing, and household items. The estimated value of these additional products amounted to approximately 174.2 million pesos.

Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy announced that the remaining three warehouses would be inventoried on Monday, March 4th. This comprehensive effort aims to ensure that all smuggled goods are accounted for and that those responsible for the illegal activities are brought to justice.

In line with the law, all warehouse representatives were reminded that they have 15 days to provide proof of payment of duties and taxes covering the goods stored and found. Failure to comply may result in charges for violation of Republic Act 10863, also known as the “Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.”

This recent seizure comes on the heels of a previous operation where CIIS operatives seized vape pens worth 3.72 billion pesos. The raid targeted several warehouses in the cities of Malabon and Parañaque, further demonstrating the agency’s commitment to combating smuggling activities.

The continuous efforts of the CIIS to crack down on smuggling not only protect the local economy but also ensure the safety and well-being of the public. By intercepting these illicit shipments, the government can collect the necessary taxes and duties, which contribute to the nation’s development and progress.

As the CIIS remains vigilant in their anti-smuggling operations, they send a clear message to those involved in illegal activities: their actions will not go unchecked, and they will be held accountable for their crimes. The dedication and commitment of the CIIS serve as a testament to their mission of safeguarding the nation’s borders and upholding the rule of law.

Source: The Manila Times

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