Customs seizes P30m fake cigarettes in simultaneous raids in Bataan

ORION, Bataan—Government agents seized P30 million worth of cigarettes and cigarette-making machines following the simultaneous raids of two rice mills and warehouses where the contrabands were kept on in Santo Domingo and Balagtas over the weekend.

Bureau of Customs agents and Japan Tobacco International officials, accompanied by local police led the raiding teams to the Crisostomo Rice Mill and Warehouse and the EBG Rice Mill Warehouse, where hundreds of master cases of smuggled cigarettes of different brands were stockpiled.

The raiding teams swooped down on the warehouses allegedly being rented by a businessman identified as Tony Lim Vargas of Mabini in Malate, Manila.

Customs personnel also found a large quantity of imported sacks of rice stored at the EBG Warehouse.

The two rice mills, police sources said, were being used to store counterfeit cigarettes and highly taxable goods believed shipped from China through the port of Mariveles and Subic Bay.

The raiding teams also confiscated the cigarettes making machines and a big volume of raw materials found in one of the rice mills.

The owner of the rice mills was invited for questioning.

The discovery of contrabands came after the local police intercepted a truckload of counterfeit cigarettes in one of the anti-criminality checkpoints along the National Highway of Bataan following reports on the alleged proliferation of smuggled cigarettes in the province.

Topics: Bureau of Customs , cigarettes , cigarette-making machines , Bataan , Japan Tobacco International
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