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P15 million in used cell phones from Korea seized at NAIA

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By Betheena Kae Unite

Hundreds of units of used smartphones from Korea worth P15 million were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) recently.

Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) intercepts 15 million worth of 825 units used cellphones and accessories from Korea without the required National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) permits. (Photo from Bureau of Customs PH / Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) intercepts 15 million worth of 825 units used cellphones and accessories from Korea without the required National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) permits. (Photo from Bureau of Customs PH / Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

The 825 used smartphones shipped from Korea were presented to the media Friday.

According to the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the used phone bore the popular electronic brand Samsung. Lithium batteries and phone accessories were also part of the shipment.

The items, which were split into two separate shipments, were not covered with any importation permit, and would not even have the chance to be permitted as legitimate importation unless it will be used for personal purposes, and not for commercial use.

This is because the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) does not issue permits for the importation of used cell phones and accessories unless the items are intended for personal use or as gifts for relatives.

The BOC said importing items in large quantities for commercial use or intended for selling was prohibited as it adversely affects the interests of legitimate manufacturers.

Safety of the public and security may also be at risk when using imported used cell phone units not covered by NTC, the bureau added.

“We laud the BOC, headed by District Collector Carmelita Talusan, for helping keep the Philippines free of possibly counterfeit products that did not seek proper importation permits and sufficient quality control. We ask the public to remain vigilant when purchasing Samsung devices”, said Marlene Cinco, Public Relations head of Samsung Philippines Corporation.

The Korean firm also encouraged the public to patronize only legitimate Samsung devices from authorized Samsung dealers nationwide.

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