By Betheena Kae Unite
Thousands of boxes of fake shoes and bags worth P300 million intended for online selling were uncovered in several warehouses in Baclaran Friday afternoon.
Customs agents armed with five letters of authority started a series of raids on the warehouses on June 20, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said.
Counterfeit bags, backpacks, and shoes that imitate a popular brand were found in the warehouses located in Sunjoy Tower, Bagong Milenyo, and New Russel buildings in Baclaran.
“The operation was conducted after the Customs Enforcement and Security Services (ESS) received a tip that fake items are stored in the buildings and this was also confirmed by brand representative Lee Bumgarner Inc. (LBI), brand owner of shoe and apparel brand “Vans”, said Lapeña.
The brand representative from LBI, later confirmed, after thorough examination on the intercepted shoes, that the discovered fake are indeed counterfeit products of their original brand, Vans.
Investigation showed that the counterfeit goods are being sold online selling platforms. Online sellers post the original image of the product but sell the fake products, Lapeña said.
“The buyers are made to believe that they are buying authentic products but it is the fake products that are being sold to them so please be careful with online transactions,” Lapeña stressed.
During the operations, ESS Director Yogi Ruiz said, that no arrest was made as the alleged owners of the warehouses identified as Cai Lu Zhi, Yang Yang, Yong Shun Chen, and Angkong, were not around.
Only the warehouse security personnel was present during the raid.
“This is a classic case of misdeclaration. Akala kasi nila they can get away with it,” Ruiz said.
Counterfeit goods are classified as prohibited under the Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.
The Bureau of Customs has given the warehouse owners 15 days from the date of inspection — June 20 — to provide the needed documents to prove the legitimacy of their goods. Otherwise, the goods will be seized and destroyed immediately.
The warehouse owners, on the other hand, will be charged with violations of Section 118 (Prohibited Importation and Exportation) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) in relation to Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code, Lapeña said.