A NUMBER of cigarette manufacturing materials, including printing machines, worth P21 million and believed to be used in counterfeiting branded tobacco products were destroyed by Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Manila at the GreenLeaf 88 condemnation facility in Porac, Pampanga on October 19.
The items were seized at a warehouse owned by Michel Jamora along Maysan Road corner A. Cantillon Street, Valenzuela City in June this year following a forfeiture proceeding issued by a Manila court.
During the inspection, BOC personnel found imported printing and cutting machines and counterfeit labels of branded tobacco products such as Fortune, Hope Mark, More, Jackpot, Two Moon, Marvel, Mighty, Astro, and The Port stockpiled inside the warehouse.
Also found inside the warehouse were Die Cutting Machines, Paper Cutter Machines, Printing Machines, Transformers, 10 boxes of vacuum packaging, Black Packaging paper, 120 mother cases of Crown C, 216 cases of Jinan Crown and 148 cases of Suzhuo KIngsworld.
The raiding team also seized finished cigarette ream labels for Two Moon, Marvel, Mighty, Fortune, Astro and The Port.
Filemon Ruiz, director of BoC ESS, sent samples of the confiscated items to Philip Morris International for confirmation but the tobacco firm said the warehouse is not authorized to print such materials in the country.
Jamora failed to show proof of payment of tax and duties of the imported machines that prompted the raiding team to seize all items found inside the warehouse. The raid was properly coordinated with the local government unit of Valenzuela City.
The seizure was covered by Letter of Authority 06-25-145-2019 issued by the BOC directing its personnel to conduct an inspection of the mentioned warehouse.
Present during the condemnation were personnel of BOC Port of Manila, representatives from the Japan Tobacco International and Philip Morris International and members of the media.
Green Leaf 88 is the only accredited non-hazardous disposal facility in Central Luzon by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said Robert Gaza, owner of the waste disposal company. (Chris Navarro)