By Betheena Unite
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero on Saturday said the bureau will ask its Chinese counterpart to prevent the exportation of cigarette-making machines to the Philippines in a bid to crack down the manufacture of fake cigarettes.
The commissioner said in a statement that the Customs bureau is “targeting the full stop to the smuggling of cigarette-making machines that are used in the manufacture of fake tobacco products.”
He said the bureau is expected to coordinate with its counterpart in China to inform them of the illicit scheme.
To further prevent the entry of these machines into the country, the customs chief will request Chinese officials not to allow the export of cigarette-making machines from China without proper and complete documentation.
In August, a group of Chinese nationals were caught red-handed while making fake cigarettes in a warehouse equipped with tobacco-producing machines in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija during a raid by Customs agents.
A total of 17 Chinese were rounded up during the raid.
Fake cigarettes of assorted brands, six cigarette-making machines, cigarette raw materials, and fake Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) tax stamps stacked inside three boxes worth P200 million were found inside the warehouse.