Government agents conducted simultaneous raids in the cities of Pasay and Navotas, and seized P316 million worth of counterfeit products and smuggled frozen meat.
A composite team from the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) assigned at the north and south harbors conducted the coordinated operation on May 7, which is in line with the Bureau of Customs’ intensified anti-smuggling campaign.
Armed with the Letter of Authority (LOA) signed and issued by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, the CIIS men proceeded and inspected the storage facilities which resulted in the discovery of various illegal and Intellectual property infringing items.
“The first team proceeded in a storage facility situated in Navotas City and discovered the presence of smuggled frozed meat, peking duck and black duck,” said Guerrero.
The second team, Guerrero said, operated and inspected storage facilities in Pasay City and discovered the presence of IP infringing clothes such as Nike, Lacoste, Jag, Louis Vitton, Jordan, Crocs, Adidas, Havianas, Disney, Frozen, Hello Kitty, Tribal, Dickies, Mossimo, Levis, Petrol, Gap, Fila, Uniqlo, Lee, Puma, DC, and Marvel.
The seized items are currently undergoing further inventory and investigation for the possible violation of Section 1400 of Republic Act 10863 also known as the Customs Modernization and Tarrif Act (CMTA) as well as other relevant intellectual property laws of the Philippines.
Guerrero said the bureau will continue to pursue unscrupulous individuals as part of the government’s campaign against unscrupulous traders.
He reiterated that the agency will also support legitimate businesses that pay proper duties and taxes.
Guerrero said imported meat products will be allowed in the country if the importers have secured Phyto-Sanitary Permit from the port of origin, otherwise the meat will be confiscated, and will be condemned.
The Customs chief, meanwhile, assured that adequate border security measures are in place to suppress and eradicate all sorts of smuggling activities and modus operandi involving counterfeit goods.
The Customs – NInoy Aquino International Airport was able to intercept last year smuggled faked signature products such as watches, bags, shoes, sandals, shirts, and accessories worth of P23.2 million.
In 2007, then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo authorized the Bureau of Customs to organize a special team through Executive Order 736, which created the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights.