By Martin Sadongdong
Around 480 reams of assorted counterfeit cigarettes were seized from two illegal traders in Abucay, Bataan Thursday as the Philippine National Police (PNP) intensifies its operations against fake products that are being sold in the market.
Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Provincial Field Unit (CIDG-PFU Bataan) and Abucay Municipal Police Station arrested the suspects identified as Carolina Isaac and Danilo Ellivera, both of legal age.
Senior Superintendent Christopher Abrahano, chief of CIDG-Central Luzon, said the operating troops served a search warrant at a warehouse in Barangay Capitangan upon receiving a tip that the two traders were allegedly engaged in storing, distributing and selling fake cigarettes.
When operatives searched the warehouse, they found hundreds of boxes of cigarettes without pertinent documents, Abrahano said.
Further investigation revealed that the areas of operation of the suspects reach Abucay and Balanga towns through the help of unknown cohorts from Pampanga and Metro Manila, the CIDG official added.
Chief Superintendent Amador Corpus, CIDG director, lauded the operatives as he said the operation was conducted in line with President Duterte’s directive to strengthen law enforcement efforts against fraudulent products.
The seized items were brought to the CIDG Bataan provincial office for inventory, according to Abrahano.
Meanwhile, Isaac and Ellivera will be facing numerous complaints as charges for violation of Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Rights Act, RA 1464 or the Tarriff and Customs Law, RA 7642 or an act increasing the penalties for tax evasion, and Provincial Ordinance No. 1 series of 2013 or Anti-tobacco Smoking Control Program will be filed against them.
The operation came days after some 100 pairs of fake PNP rubber shoes were seized by the CIDG in an entrapment operation against three illegal traders in Quezon City last Tuesday.