By Betheena Unite
Five Chinese nationals and a local were arrested for allegedly printing fake cigarette packaging when Customs agents raided a warehouse in Valenzuela City Thursday morning.
Several imported printing machines, cutting machines used for printing unauthorized cigarette pack labels and carton labels were discovered inside the warehouse located at Michel Printing Services, Maysan Road corner A. Cantillon Street.
The carton labels are bearing the brands of Fortune, Mark, Hope, More, and Jackpot trademarks.
Armed with a letter of authority, Customs agents and local police officers trooped to the warehouse together with brand owner representatives from Phillip Morris and Japan Tobacco International.
The arrested workers were identified as Kevin Tan, Alex Chan, James Sy, Tin Fu, and one alias Tonyo, and a certain Michael Jamora.
According to the bureau, the pack labels and carton labels, otherwise known as “hinge lid blanks,” were examined by the representatives from the Phillip Morris Philippines.
It was later confirmed that the uncovered packaging were fake and do not bear the characteristics of the original Fortune, Mark, More and Jackpot hinge lid blanks.
Customs said prior to the operation, they received an information that a certain warehouse in Valenzuela might be involved in smuggling of fake cigarette labels.
A criminal case was filed against the arrested suspects for violation of the provisions of Republic Act 8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and pertinent provisions of RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.