The Bureau of Customs Port of Cebu destroyed P374 million worth of smuggled cigarettes. | Photo courtesy of BOC
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Cebu has destroyed P374 million worth of smuggled cigarettes following the seizure of eight containers of the illegal items in the past months.
The eight containers of smuggled counterfeit cigarettes were apprehended in joint anti-smuggling operations of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), X-Ray Inspection Project Team (XIP), and the Assessment Division.
The BOC seized these illegal cigarettes in various interceptions on July, August, and September 2020, shipped in mostly from China.
“Our standing order from Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero is to speedily dispose of seized goods to prevent port congestion, avoid pilferage, and generate additional revenues for the government,” said Acting District Collector Atty. Charlito Martin R. Mendoza.
He added that the careful planning and execution of the condemnation of the cigarettes followed BOC rules while complying with existing environmental protocols.
Deputy Collector for Operations Atty. Marc Anthony C. Patriarca and Auction and Cargo Disposal Unit Chief Engr. Ronald Morillo supervised the entire condemnation process.
The Port’s Enforcement and Security Service, Port Operations Division, and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, together with the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police, provided the security during the condemnation and in the transport of the eight containers from the port to the destruction facility located in Barangay Binaliw, Talamban, Cebu City.
Representatives from Japan Tobacco Inc. and Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp. also witnessed the condemnation. /rcg