P18.5M smuggled cigarettes seized in Manila port

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A 40-footer container loaded with misdeclared cigarettes worth P18.5 million was seized at the Manila International Container Port on Monday.

“The shipment consigned to Marid Industrial Marketing located at 2090 Batangas Line, Paco, Manila was declared as 890 cartons of industrial artificial fur texture but upon examination it was discovered to contain 914 cartons of cigarette brands such as Jackpot, Fortune, John, Marvels, and U2,” Bureau of Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said in a statement Monday.

“I would advise our kababayan (fellows) to be very cautious especially if counterfeit because it might be hazardous to health,” he said.

On April 10, agents from X-ray Inspection Project found irregularities on the X-ray image, prompting recommendation to alert the said shipment.

The branded cigarettes arrived from China on April 4 and was processed by customs broker Carme Ann Rollon with office address at Cluster 3, Unit 3-1 Numancia Residences, Urbiztondo St., San Nicolas, Manila.

The shipment will undergo seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 1400 (Misdeclaration, Misclassification, and Undervaluation in Goods Declaration) of Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

Lapeña said the accreditation of the importer and customs broker will be revoked or suspended accordingly.

p: wjg

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