Customs destroys P90M counterfeit cigarettes

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THE Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Cebu destroyed P90 million worth of master cases of smuggled counterfeit cigarettes at the facilities of Taiheiyo Cement Philippines, Inc. (TCPI) on Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

The 1,804 confiscated master cases contained cigarettes of various brands such as Mighty, Marvels and Fort.

The BOC-Port of Cebu said these cigarettes, which were seized and eventually forfeited in June 2021, arrived in two separate shipments from China and were declared as table panels, cabinets and chairs.

Marc Anthony Patriarca, deputy district collector for operations, said they have partnered with TCPI for the use of its facilities in compliance with the directive of Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero to dispose of the cigarettes by burning in the furnaces of cement plants.

The condemnation process was strictly monitored to make sure that the existing environmental protocols are being followed, said TCPI's Environment and Safety Officer Dwight Avila.

Also present during the destruction of the counterfeit cigarettes were representatives of the brand owners of Japan Tobacco International Corp. and Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp.

In 2020, the Port also seized and destroyed eight shipments of counterfeit cigarettes with a value of P374 million. (WBS)

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