AUTHORITIES are set to file criminal charges against a Taiwanese national who owns the buildings where fake cigarettes and menthol candies were seized by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents in Northern Mindanao on Thursday, July 25.
NBI-Northern Mindanao Director Patricio Bernales said Huang Teng Pee, owner of Timberwoods Development Corporation situated in the state-run Phividec Industrial Estate in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, may face charges of violation of Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (RA 8293).
The owner was present when NBI agents raided and searched two buildings by virtue of two search warrants.
He claimed that he had rented out the buildings to a Chinese national and that he had no idea about the activities of the lessee.
"He was claiming nga wala siyay knowledge sa renter, which I think is impossible. As owner naa siyay tulubagon," Bernales said.
Confiscated during the raid were materials and machines used in candy production, boxes of fake cigarettes, some taxable products, and other documents.
According to the Regional Intelligence Division of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the seized packs of cigarettes either did not have BIR tax stamps or bore fake tax stamps.
The BIR also said the excise tax on the almost 400,000 packs of cigarettes is nearly P140 million. The tax stamps were found to be fake because they bear similar serial numbers.
BIR officials said they will file tax-related cases against the personalities behind the distribution of the fake cigarettes. (Alwen Saliring)