More than P12 million worth of smuggled goods were seized by joint elements of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, National Bureau of Investigation and Philippine Coast Guard following a raid of a warehouse in Mandaluyong and Parañaque City.
The Bureau of Customs said at least P5 million worth of boxes of various Chinese cigarettes and medicines such as the Linhua Qingwen Jiaonang, reportedly a medicine used for Covid-19 treatment, were confiscated from a storage facility in Mandaluyong City.
In Parañaque, the BOC confiscated Chinese cigarettes, face masks, face shields and medicines worth more than P7 million from a second storage facility.
Alvin Enciso, chief of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) at the Manila International Container Port, said they were conducting a series of raids in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to go after traders taking advantage of the pandemic.
“Our campaign is in response to traders who take advantage of the pandemic to smuggle illegal medicines and contrabands into the country,” Enciso said.
During the raid, government operatives also found a makeshift clinic and two intravenous sets in the facility that believes being used to treat patients suspected of having Covid-19.
The BOC, in coordination with the PCG and the NBI, launched the simultaneous operation.
There will be no letup in our anti-smuggling campaign despite the threat of Covid-19 in the country. Our men will continue to be diligent in fulfilling the mission and get the job done, the BOC said in a statement.