P70 million worth of alleged fake, smuggled ‘Heng De’ face shields

Marje Pelayo   •   May 21, 2021   •   528

MANILA, Philippines — Approximately P70 million worth of alleged fake and smuggled “Heng De” face shields from China were seized from a warehouse located at 83 Luzon Road, BF Homes, Parañaque City on Thursday (May 20).

The operation was carried out by members of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Bureau of Customs (BOC), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

According to the confiscating team, the personal protective equipment (PPE) did not pass appropriate inspection and may not be declared safe for use by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).

The BOC is set to destroy the alleged fake and smuggled PPE after proper investigation.

NBI nabs 5 individuals in investment scam

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has arrested five individuals reportedly involved in investment scams.

The five individuals were arrested during an entrapment operation in Quezon City.

Authorities identified them as Bernie Limpiada and Marvin Ojeda, firm manager Rogelio Fambuena Jr., Glory Ann Pillora, and Sison Inocencio who were alleged owners of Agri-Wealth Farm Ventures, Inc. (Agri-Wealth).

NBI Spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin said the investment scam would offer a 160% return of investment within the period of 100 days with a daily profit ranging from 1.6% to 2.5% of the invested amount.

“This is a scam and we are warning the public. Do not engage, (do) not believe in this kind of scam. The name of the corporation is Agri-Wealth Farm Ventures, Inc,” he said.

NBI Anti-fraud Division Chief Palmer Mallari said an informant, the Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC), and the Anti-Red Tape Authority reported that the Agri-Wealth Farm Ventures, Inc. is not registered.

It also does not have a secondary permit as a lending company, broker or dealer, and securities for taking investment funds from the public.

“When investors are being invited to attend the investors’ conferences, the investors are made to believe that this is a real, legitimate corporation. Why? There are tarpaulins, there are brochures being distributed, there are offices being presented and officers of the corporation,” he said.

Further investigation stated that the company only began its operations last month and that the victims of the investment scam reached around 50 or close to 100 individuals.

The five individuals have been charged with violations of Sections 8 and 26 of Republic Act No. 8799, the Securities Regulation Code. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

P2.3B worth of ukay-ukay seized in Valenzuela

Marje Pelayo   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) recently seized billions worth of various counterfeit and used clothing from a warehouse located in Mayzan, Valenzuela City.

The warehouse was inspected by a team from BOC’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) and in coordination with the Port’s Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Presidential Anti-corruption Commission (PACC) where they discovered counterfeit items with brands such as Nike, Louis Vuitton and Dior.

Also found inside the warehouse were various bales of used clothing, face masks and other imported items with an estimated market value of P2.3 billion.

A warrant of seizure and detention was issued by Manila International Container Port (MICP) District Collector Romeo Allan Rosales to the owner and consignee of the smuggled item for violation of Section 224 in relation to Section 219 of Republic Act (RA) No. 10863 also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

In his statement Collector Rosales assured that the Bureau is committed to cracking down on prohibited goods.

He also stressed that the trade of used clothing may have negative effects on the user’s health and the local clothing industry.

The operation was in line with the BOC’s intensified anti-smuggling campaign in ports across the country.

BOC clears 5.89M Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Astrazeneca vaccines

Maris Federez   •   July 17, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of NAIA has cleared 5,891,650 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines which arrived in different batches from July 16 to 17, 2021, a customs advisory released on Saturday said.

The cleared vaccines include 3.24 million Johnson and Johnson doses in 2 batches, 1.5 million Sinovac doses, and 1.15 million AstraZeneca doses in 2 batches.

The advisory said a total of 2,757,400 vaccines arrived on Friday at the NAIA Terminal 3 at around 2:30 p.m. This comprised the 1st batch of Johnson and Johnson with 1,606,600 doses and AstraZeneca with 1,150,800 doses.

On Saturday (July 17), a total of 3,134,250 vaccines also arrived at Terminal 3, comprising of the 2nd batch of J&J with 1,634,250 doses and Sinovac with 1.5M doses.

“The shipments were pre-cleared on July 15, 2021, at the BOC-NAIA COVID-19 One-Stop-Shop upon submission by the Department of Health of all pertinent documents as the consignee,” the statement said.

The BOC has, so far, cleared six vaccine brands which include Sinovac from China, AstraZeneca from the UK, Sputnik V from Russia’s Gamaleya, Pfizer and Moderna from the US, and Johnson and Johnson from Europe.

As of this posting, over 27 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been cleared and released by the customs bureau since February 2021.

“Of which, 14.5 million are Sinovac, 6.8 million are AstraZeneca, 350,000 are Sputnik V, 2.48 million are Pfizer, 500,000 are Moderna, and 3.24 million are Johnson & Johnson brands,” the BOC said. —/mbmf


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