Massive Seizure of Smuggled Vapes in Malabon and Paranaque

SEIZED VAPES Intelligence agents of the Bureau of Customs inspect one of the Malabon warehouses that yielded illegal imported e-cigarettes or vapes from China on Friday, March 1, 2024. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
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In a major operation, intelligence operatives of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) in the Philippines have successfully seized smuggled vapes worth a staggering P3.72 billion. The raid took place in multiple warehouses located in the cities of Malabon and Paranaque. This significant operation is part of the bureau’s ongoing efforts to combat the illegal trade of e-cigarettes or vapes.

Customs Commissioner Bien Rubio emphasized the importance of targeting smuggled vapes, stating, “This is an ongoing, active investigation and inspection. We are committed to thoroughly examining these warehouses and determining the exact quantity of smuggled vapes they contain as soon as possible.”

According to the report submitted to Commissioner Rubio by BOC-CIIS Director Verne Enciso, one of the warehouses in San Dionisio, Parañaque City, was discovered to hold an estimated 1.5 million pieces of the Flava brand e-cigarettes in various flavors. To provide more precise figures, Enciso explained that there were approximately 15,000 boxes of vapes, with 100 pieces per box, resulting in a total of 1.5 million pieces. With a current market value of P500 per piece, the total value of the seized vapes amounts to P750 million. Additionally, considering the excise tax that should have been collected, the total estimated value reaches P1.53 billion.

Enciso further highlighted that the excise tax for each 10ml or one piece of vape is worth P520, meaning that the government should have collected around P780 million from the 1.5 million pieces of smuggled vapes.

The BOC-CIIS is also conducting an ongoing inspection of warehouses located in Superb Catch Inc., Compound 46, Hernandez St., Barangay Catmon, Malabon City. During an initial inventory, one of these warehouses revealed approximately 19,800 boxes, each containing 100 pieces of vapes. At a market value of P550 per piece, the total value of the 1.98 million seized vapes is P1.089 billion. Additionally, the excise tax per item, amounting to P520, should have resulted in a collection of P1,029,600,000.

In total, the market value and excise tax of the smuggled vape products sum up to an astounding P2,118,600,000.

This seizure serves as a significant blow to the illegal trade of vapes in the Philippines, highlighting the commitment of the Bureau of Customs to safeguard public health and enforce the law. The operation not only aims to prevent the entry of potentially harmful and unregulated vape products but also to ensure that the government collects the necessary taxes to support public services and initiatives.

The illegal trade of vapes poses a serious concern, as unregulated products can potentially harm consumers. By cracking down on smuggled vapes, the Bureau of Customs is taking a proactive approach to protect the health and well-being of the Filipino population.

It is worth noting that the seizure of such a massive quantity of smuggled vapes demonstrates the scale of the issue and the need for continued vigilance and cooperation between law enforcement agencies to effectively combat this illegal trade.

The Bureau of Customs remains dedicated to its mission of safeguarding the country’s borders and ensuring compliance with regulations. Through ongoing investigations and inspections, they are determined to dismantle smuggling networks and protect the interests of the Filipino people.

In conclusion, the seizure of P3.72 billion worth of smuggled vapes in the Philippines is a significant accomplishment for the Bureau of Customs. This operation sends a strong message to those involved in the illegal trade of vapes and serves as a reminder of the government’s commitment to protecting public health and enforcing the law. The Bureau of Customs will continue its efforts to combat smuggling and ensure the safety and well-being of the Filipino population.

Source: The Manila Times

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