Authorities raided a warehouse in Valenzuela City and seized cosmetic products, supplements, and vitamins imported without clearance from the Food and Drug Administration and believed unsafe for human consumption.
Armed with a letter of authority from Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, operatives from the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service conducted the raid last Friday in coordination with the Coast Guard, and the National Bureau of Investigation.
“The goods were hauled to the bureau’s premises at midnight of the same day since these will be subjected to further inspection and will be recommended for issuance of Warrant of Seizure and Detention,” said Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group Raniel Ramiro.
He said the agency is still determining the market value of the goods.
Customs agents assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport also intercepted at a bonded warehouse 146,640 boxes of Lianhua Qingwen medicines, also without importation clearance from the FDA.
Based on import documents, the six shipments worth more than P29 million came from Hong Kong.
The FDA had approved the use of Lianhua Qingwen produced by one of China’s renowned traditional Chinese medicine manufacturers, Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila lauded the move, saying it marks a milestone in the entrance of traditional Chinese medicines in the country.
However, both the FDA and the embassy reminded the public to only purchase and consume authentic products through authorized distributors.