P882-million worth of fake cigarettes seized in CDO

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 22 Jan) – A joint team from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) raided two warehouses here, one of which owned by Gaisano, and confiscated P882-million worth of fake cigarettes Tuesday afternoon.

Some of the boxes containing fake cigarettes discovered by a joint raiding team from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday afternoon (21 January 2020). Photo courtesy of BIR

But Regional Director Nuzar Balatero, of Revenue Region No. 16 based in Cagayan de Oro, said that the Gaisano warehouse in Barangay Cugman, where 1,707 cases were seized, was rented by a still unknown party.

He said 3,000 more cases of cigarettes with fake BIR stamps were also found at a warehouse, whose owner is still not identified, located along the Diversion Road in Barangay Bayabas.

Balatero said the raiding agents, who acted on a tip, seized boxes of cigarettes with brands like More, YS Filters, RED, Jackpot, Bravo, Marvel, and Two Moon.

He said that with the use of a BIR taggant reader, the agents found that all of the cigarettes have fake BIR stamps.

Balatero said their office and the NBI are still investigating as to the identity of the owners of the fake cigarettes.

Some of the fake cigarettes discovered by a joint raiding team from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday afternoon (21 January 2020). Photo courtesy of BIR

He said the owners are liable to face criminal charges for unlawful pursuit of business, failure to file excise taxes, and unlawful possession of spurious internal revenue stamps. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)

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