P882-M ‘fake’ cigarettes seized in Oro warehouses

OVER P882 million worth of fake cigarettes were seized by authorities on Tuesday, January 21, in two warehouses in villages Bulua and Cugman but no persons were arrested.

Based on an informant’s tip, a joint team of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Northern Mindanao raided a warehouse along Bulua diversion and another one owned by mall giant Gaisano.

Seized were brands of cigarettes YS Filter, RED, Jackpot, Bravo, Marvels, and Two Moon.

Around 3,000 master cases were confiscated in Bayabas diversion with a total excise tax deficiency amounting to P562,500,625 while around 1,707 master cases of cigarettes were confiscated at Gaisano warehouse with a total tax deficiency of P320,063,750.

The total tax deficiency is worth P882,564,375.

The cigarettes were confiscated for violating four provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code, such as Section 236/258 or the unlawful pursuit of business, Section 130/225 or the failure to excise tax returns, Section 263 or unlawful possession of removal of articles subject to excise tax without payment of tax, and Section 265 or the unlawful possession of spurious internal revenue stamps.

A BIR Taggant reader also found out that the various brand of cigarettes have fake BIR stamps on them. Others do not have BIR stamps at all.

Jonaidah Darimbang, BIR Legal Division assistant chief, said they are still identifying the owners of the fake cigarettes since no one was present during the raid.

“We will definitely go after them (suspects) kasi grabe yung damage that they have caused the government,” she said.


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