BIR seizes 1,200 boxes of fake cigarettes in Tacloban warehouse
TACLOBAN CITY – About 1,200 boxes containing various cigarettes bearing alleged fake tax stamps were confiscated in a warehouse in this city Thursday by the personnel of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Lawyer Neil Cordero, chief of the regional investigation division of BIR-8, said the boxes of cigarettes containing the brands Jackpot, Mighty, and Marlboro, among others, were deposited in a warehouse in Barangay 79, Nula-Tula, this city.
Cordero, in a phone interview, said the cigarettes were valued at P48 million but with these bearing alleged fake tax stamps, the government is denied a potential income of about P21 million.
“We received a tip from our informant reason why we discovered the existence of these boxes of cigarettes (bearing fake tax stamps),” he said.
During their operation conducted in coordination with members of the National Bureau of Investigation at 1 p.m., the alleged owner identified as Paul Radam was present but claimed that he did not own the items as his place was just being rented by someone else.
Cordero said they were able to determine that the items bore fake tax stamps as they all carry the same serial numbers.
They also used a stamp verifier that emits a green color if a stamp is genuine and red when it is fake.
The stamp on the cigarettes that they took as samples turned red making them presume that these were fake items.
Cordero said they were still conducting an investigation to determine if there is a probable cause to file charges against Radam who gave his consent to BIR and NBI personnel to search the warehouse where the boxes of cigarettes containing alleged fake stamps were deposited.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.