BOC seizes P100M worth of fake goods in Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   February 1, 2021   •   1052

MANILA, Philippines – Counterfeit items amounting to P100 million were apprehended at a warehouse in Manila, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported.

In a statement on Sunday, the BOC said the items were seized at a storage facility in Tondo on January 25 through the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

The team, through a letter of authority (LOA) issued by BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, inspected the storage facility which revealed the existence intellectual property infringing items such as bags bearing the name Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel.

Unregistered face shields, facemasks, fake medicines, and fake soaps were also confiscated.

Among the face masks discovered were those with the brand of AIDELAI which is a prohibited brand as per Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory No. 2021-0011, the BOC said.

Further investigation and inventory is being conducted for the identification of those responsible as well as the filing of charges for violation of RA 10863 also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and The Intellectual Property Law of the Philippines, the bureau added.

The operation was led by the MICP’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service in coordination with MICP Enforcement and Security Service, National Bureau of Investigation, and Philippine Coast Guard.

P150 million worth of fake COVID test kits, meds seized in Manila warehouse – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   January 24, 2022

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Monday said it has confiscated P150 million worth of fake COVID-19 antigen test kits, face masks, medicines and other goods from a Manila warehouse.

In a statement, the BOC said authorities raided the warehouse in San Miguel last Friday, January 21, pursuant to a letter of authority with mission order signed by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, in coordination with local barangay officials and police.

The bureau said the storage facility was found with thousands of Clungene COVID-19 antigen test kits, counterfeit LianHua Chinese herbal medicines, and fake 3M N95 face masks.

Authorities also found intellectual property rights infringed goods such as apparel from brands like Nike, Fila, Converse, Adidas, as well as Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags, wallets, phone accessories, and others.

The BOC said a Chinese national, who is said to be the owner of the warehouse, was arrested during the operation.

He will face various cases for violating the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) Law and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules and regulations, it added.

“Definitely the owner of the warehouse will face the brunt of the law. This is not the first time and not the last time we will see these groups operating on our shores,” said Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Raniel Ramiro.

“Our job here is to make sure these don’t get into the local markets, and to stop any future attempts at selling counterfeit goods to our kababayans,” he added.

The BOC said the warehouse was temporarily padlocked and to secure the imported products stored inside until the completion of the inventory of goods.

 

P30 million worth of fake flu meds seized in warehouses in Parañaque – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2022

Counterfeit of popular medicine brands worth at least P30 million were confiscated at two storage areas in Parañaque City, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement, the BOC said an operation launched on January 5, 2022 yielded the seizure of counterfeit medicines such as Biogesic, Neozep, Bioflu, Immunpro, Ivermectin, Phenokinon F Injection, Medicol, Planax, Alaxan FR, MX3 and others.

Customs said that certification from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Unilab Pharmaceuticals, the makers of paracetamol brand Biogesic, stated that the said medicines were counterfeit.

The operation was conducted by the BOC with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), Intelligence Service Armed Forces Of the Philippines (ISAFP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

“We received reports about the presence of counterfeit items. It’s not just items, but medicines. We acted on this immediately because this can pose a health threat. They are selling these to unsuspecting people whose only hope is to buy authentic medicines for themselves and their loved ones,” said Raniel Ramiro, Customs Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence Group.

The BOC said the counterfeit medicines were packed in cartons with tags bearing foreign characters. They were found in two storages at 7434B and 7434C Highland St., Marcelo Green Village and 27 Pearl St., Severina Subdivision, Km 18, Brgy. Marcelo, both in Paranaque City.

The seized items were immediately hauled to the BOC premises, though the inspection and inventory are still ongoing.

The team, composed of members of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service at the Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP), PDEA-IIS, NICA, ISAFP and the PCG, nabbed the suspect identified as Adel Rajput, a 31-year old Pakistani national, a resident of Caloocan City.

The BOC said the suspect was brought to the Paranaque City Prosecutors’ Office for an inquest.

He will face various cases for violation of Sec. 1401 (Unlawful Importation/Exportation), Sec. 1113 (Property Subject to Seizure and Forfeiture) paragraph (l) (5) in relation to Sec. 118 (Prohibited Importation and Exportation) paragraph (e) of the CMTA, and the violation of Republic Act No. 8293 (Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and its Pertinent Rules and Regulations).

“His visa will be under a revocation process by the Bureau of Immigration,” Customs said.

Last November 24, 2021, BOC said it also confiscated fake medicines bearing names of popular brands such as Alaxan, Tuseran Forte, Propan, and Diatabs with an estimated value of P50 million from a warehouse in Pasig City.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero lamented how these businesses are operating during this time when the public is facing difficulties in purchasing anti-flu medicines amid the surge in COVID-19.

“It is sad how these criminals are using the pandemic for their own gain, especially when it comes to medicines. These are medicines that people thought will relieve them of their pain, their conditions. It is unforgivable that these individuals are using people’s desperation to earn money,” he said.

The Department of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry earlier assured that there was no shortage in supply of some medicine brands, and that pharmacies only experienced temporary stockout due to “overwhelming demand.”

BOC-NAIA halts illegal trade of bearded dragon, tegu lizards declared as children’s toys

Maris Federez   •   January 5, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs Port of NAIA on Wednesday (January 5) announced the seizure of two (2) parcels containing 22 bearded dragons and 6 Argentine black and white lizards from Samutprakarn, Thailand, in the BOC NAIA Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC), Pasay City.

In a statement, the BOC reported that it conducted the seizure of the said wildlife, which has an estimated market value of P210,000, in December 2021.

The Customs bureau said that both parcels, declared as “children’s toys”, were shipped by a certain ‘Anuphop Wilit’ and were sent to certain individuals allegedly addressed in Paranaque City.

Customs-NAIA personnel subjected the parcels to x-ray and 100% physical examination which led to the discovery of live bearded dragons and tegus.

Said parcel shipments were subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 1113 of RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act in relation to Section 117 and RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, the statement said.

The seized lizards were immediately turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Wildlife Monitoring Unit for proper handling and safekeeping pursuant to Customs Administrative Order No. 10-2020.

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